Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ekeh urges Nigerians to learn from India, China

Chairman, Zinox Group, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh, has advised Nigerians to emulate the Chinese and Indians in playing their roles as nationalists if Nigeria must emerge the black power that the world expected, just as Zinox is set to produce an average of 3 million Personal Computers (PC) beginning this year.

He proffered this advice at the one-day seminar tagged Technology Outlook in Lagos, put together by Technology Times, saying that Nigeria has a lot to learn from these two Asian countries to be technologically viable, decrying the attitude of Nigerians for foreign goods and is a fad that feeds on the cultural inferiority complex of a colonized people.

“We have other people to look up to such as China and India. We must take a look at China and India and copy their models if Nigeria must emerge the black power that the world is expecting,” Dr. Ekeh asserted.

Stressing that this has been the reason for Zinox’s desire to place a computer on every table in Nigeria so as to enable Nigerians achieve the destiny of being the foremost black power in the world.

Although, he agreed that there are a good number of computer brands in the market today, noting that it would not be too difficult to fill Nigerian tables with computers if we had to order just any computer in sight.

“There is, as I have said earlier a national goal. The national goal include the creating of computer manufacturing capacities for Nigerians, the creation of millions of jobs for Nigerians, the establishment of an industrial infrastructure on which we can build a future Nigeria,” he said.

Ekeh also cautioned that Nigeria as a nation would not achieve this dream without the patronage of local brands in the technology sector like Zinox among other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).

“This dream would never be built unless we consciously concede the computerization of Nigeria to Zinox and the other OEMs,” he said.

Ekeh further disclosed that in the last 1 year Zinox has invested over $2.5b to increase her capacities to deliver.

“This investment has given us a new head office and a production capacity of 3 million PCs per annum,” he said, underscoring the fact that the demonstration was in closeness to the aspirations of the people that Zinox last week launched a laptop branded Zinox Bijimi.

“Bijimi is a digital bull, with a 13-hour battery life. Zinox also recently enhanced the chances of the PC getting into many more Nigerian homes with the launch of Zinox Telecom, a company that significantly reduces the cost of the internet to the typical Nigerian. Zinox Telecom already has multi-million Naira contracts to deploy across Nigeria,” he said.

Further, he called on the government to ensure the stability of the Naira as the instability would affect the dream of placing PC on every table in the country for the use of Nigerians.

This, he said, require the involvement of the government in the face of the on-going financial problems which is getting more complex by the day, hence requiring the involvement of governments.

“What is the lending rate from banks to the manufacturing sector or are the manufacturers directed to borrow only from designated banks? Would the computer manufacturer, for example, Zinox Computers be entitled to some tax exemptions because of the expensive trail blazing efforts of being a pioneer?,” he asked.

He, therefore doubted how the nation would insulate the computer manufacturers from the free fall of the Naira, stressing that the entire production chain is agitated when the Naira loses against the Dollar.

“We cannot deploy the computers on these precious Nigerian tables if we cannot forecast and control the cost of inventory. The market would be unable to buy the products if the pricing is unstable,” Ekeh declared.

Nigerians, he insisted, must be culturally attuned to grow a Nigerian technology products. “Do we have the disposition to patronize our own products? I must point out that Nigerians are luckier than most other climes where technology had to grow from the scratch. In the case of Zinox Computers we obtained all known international certifications for quality before we started production. We had to go the whole length in other to assuage the skepticism that would arise from a lack of self esteem among Nigerians. The preference for foreign goods is a fad that feeds on the cultural inferiority complex of a colonized people. We have other people to look up to,” he said.

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