Nigerian businessmen are not known to stick to one line of business. The majority are always on the lookout for the next big thing to invest in. However, Leo Stan is one man who has remained consistent in his chosen field of technology and his roadmap.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the same man, Leo Stan Ekeh backed by his team, has today achieved all he has in the tech sector.
It is gratifying, a sign of hope and a story that is worth telling, especially with the recent revelation of the long years of patronage from Chevron Nigeria, that this man has achieved so much with little or no support from government, still setting records, creating jobs and a bright future for millions of Nigerian youths.
I recall reading in the same article about Chevron Nigeria how well the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo supported local content drive. While I am aware that this was the case, government, at that time, was not really buying a lot of technology products as it was largely analogue in its processes.
There are thousands of Nigerians in the same technology sector who are struggling out there today. Many of them have quietly exited the sector after being unable to keep their heads above water. This brings into sharp relief the commendable efforts of Leo Stan as a shining light who has consistently built new successful businesses, while also expanding the Zinox Group for over 30 years. To see all these happen while not been able to count on the patronage of government is nothing short of a miracle.
Consequently, it was not strange when Zinox made the news early in 2018 with its acquisition of e-commerce brand, Konga. Nevertheless, many had queried the rationale behind Mr. Ekeh’s decision. For some, it was a suicide mission. I also understand that at that juncture, Konga was technically dead, as one of my cousins, who was a merchant trading with the business then, reliably informed me that, before the acquisition, the former managers of Konga had invited them to come and pick up their items warehoused with them. But a new story is being told about that e-commerce giant barely three years down the line. Today, that same Konga was recently reported to have broken a global e-commerce record, becoming the first African e-ecommerce company to turn profitable.
The Chevron Nigeria article represents another eye-opener and I wish to congratulate Zinox and, especially, Leo Stan Ekeh, for what he is building. He has done this for over 30 years without any hint of a scandal which is not an easy feat in a Nigerian business terrain that is prone to blackmail and betrayals. Perhaps, what has saved him from the minefield of subterfuge and the pull-him-down syndrome is the fact that many Nigerians are still analogue and Leo Stan is operating in a sector in which only a few Nigerians really understand.
I would equally like to appreciate the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the referenced Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ibrahim Pantami, a young man I admire, for their unequivocal commitment to Nigeria. I believe their clear signal is helping domestication in this sector and I advise other Ministers of the Federal Republic to emulate Dr. Pantami to create jobs for our educated youths and reduce security challenges caused by employment. I also urge them to concentrate some of their efforts in pushing our best talents forward.
Certainly, we must support and promote our best so that other emerging ones can be encouraged to outdo their feats, not only in the area of technology, but in other sectors as well. There have been a few surprises in the fintech sub-sector and in agriculture where some young Nigerians are leveraging technology in transforming the space.
However, there is no doubt that Nigeria lacks new model mentors and world class entrepreneurs in the mould of Leo Stan Ekeh.
The government must promote our best names, men and women whose rise to prominence is documented, people we know their background and their history and not fly-by-night entrepreneurs or undeserving foreigners.
It is by so doing that we can assure these patriotic/successful entrepreneurs of government’s support and encourage them to do more, inspire the next wave of budding entrepreneurs and contribute in building the Nigeria of our collective dreams.
Bode S. Ojerinde – Ph.D. wrote in from Lokoja, Kogi State
4th Mainland Bridge: Lagos selects 3 companies in final stage, contract to be awarded in March 2022
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says the state government has selected 3 companies for the final stage in the contract award process for the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
He also said that the selection process for the project, which will be executed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), will be completed by March this year.
The project is running behind schedule as the governor had earlier said that the project will take off by the end of 2021.
This was made known by Governor Sanwo-Olu while speaking during an interview on a Channels Television programme; Sunrise Daily, as he was trying to highlight efforts by his administration to tackle the traffic gridlock and improve infrastructure across the state.
Sanwo-Olu, who noted that the fourth mainland bridge is a huge project, said 3 companies had been shortlisted for the final stage of the process from an initial list of 30 companies.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu, during the interview, said, “I also addressed the Fourth Mainland Bridge which is a big project we want to deliver under Public-Private Partnership (PPP). From about 30 companies that expressed interest, we are now at the final stage with three shortlisted companies and I am hoping by March we should have completed the process.
‘’I want to say our administration is doing well, even if I do say so myself and our people can also testify to the progress we are making across board.
‘’I made a promise to serve Lagosians diligently and I intend to continue to do that with all the vigour and energy in me.’’
What you should know about 4th Mainland Bridge
- Recall that in August 2020, the Lagos State Government shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
- This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
The Lagos State Government had earlier said that the preferred bidder for the fourth mainland bridge will be known by December 2021.
- Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had earlier revealed that the foundation for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of the year 2021.
- The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.
I also addressed the 4th Mainland Bridge which is a big project we want to deliver under PPP.
From about 30 companies that expressed interest we are now at the final stage with three shortlisted companies and I am hoping by March we should have completed the process. (6/7)
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) January 28, 2022
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iPhone drives Apple’s net sales up 11% to $124 billion in Q4 2021
Apple’s 2021 fourth-quarter financial report has shown that the total net sales reported hit N124 billion, up 11% from the 111 billion the same period last year in the face of supply chain bottlenecks and chips shortage.
iPhone saw massive patronage at $71 billion in fourth-quarter 2021 against $65 billion same quarter the previous year, while Mac and iPad sales totalled $10 billion and $7 billion respectively from the $8.6 billion and N8.4 billion respectively same period last year.
This shows that more people continued to show interest in the company’s product than they did in 2020.
The growth could also be attributed to the late-September release of the iPhone 13 line causing sales to spike a 9% year on year increase from $65.6 billion.
While other Wearables, Home and Accessories also saw an increase from $12 billion to N14.7 billion last year, only services went down to reach $19.5 billion, a significant decline from 15.8 billion last year.
America tops the list in terms of region, as the highest spender of Apple products at $51 billion in 2021 followed by Europe, China and Japan at respective $29 billion, $25 billion and $7 billion while the rest of the Asia Pacific saw a $9.8 billion during the period.
Tim Cook, the CEO said in the financial report, “This quarter’s record results were made possible by our most innovative lineup of products and services ever. We are gratified to see the response from customers around the world at a time when staying connected has never been more important.”
What you should know
Counterpoint Research put the company at the top of the market share list for the world’s largest smartphone market, as companies like Vivo, Oppo, Honor and Xiaomi followed in that respective order.
... iPhone drives Apple’s net sales up 11% to $124 billion in Q4 2021 Read More on ... Nairametrics.