The former Vice-Chairman of ExxonMobil, Mr. Udom Inoyo has pledged N100 million for the sponsorship training of Akwa Ibom innovators.
Inoyo, who is also the Advisor of Inoyo Toro Foundation, also pledged to assist them in growing their businesses.
Speaking at the grand-finale of Akwa Ibom Technology Week 2021, held in Uyo, as a keynote speaker, he noted that the participants hold the key to unlocking the economy of Akwa Ibom State and the nation.
According to him, some of the problems confronting the country can be solved through the force of market-creating innovations.
He hoped that Akwa Ibom youths would witness real transformation if they dedicate their time to identify what the population lacks or is struggling with.
“As you know, the 21st-century economy will be largely anchored on technology and innovation, and if this country must make progress, we must look in your direction.
“Society is bedeviled with many problems, but these struggles are also opportunities, which some of you have already identified.
“I salute you for this, and for being audacious, savvy, and ready to conquer the world, notwithstanding your name, location, circumstances of birth, etc.
‘’Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $514 billion (nominal) relative to a population growth rate of 2.6 percent (2019) is not enough to support the country’s socio-economic needs, accordingly, the youths must be willing to explore new frontiers to test and market their capabilities with a determination to break technological barriers, crippling self-doubt, and forging ahead with appealing dispositions and must never say it cannot be done,’’ Inoyo noted.
The Toro Foundation advisor explained that the mission of the contest is to allow innovators to present their business concept to a panel in the hope of winning a cash prize or investment capital to support innovative solutions that will stimulate capacity development and enhance economic growth in Akwa Ibom State.
The one-time President of the Chartered Institute Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) expressed delight at the interest and eagerness of Akwa Ibom youths to compete nationally and globally.
He announced that the contest which will hold in October will attract prize money for winners to support the advancement of their businesses, as well as sponsorship of 72 idea owners to the build and grow boot-camp/capacity-building organized by Africa Fintech Academy estimated at over N100 million aggregated value for the young innovators.
Inoyo acknowledged the support of Barr. Aniekan Ukpanah, who is the Managing Partner of Udo Udoma and Belo-Osagie, a leading commercial law firm in Nigeria, and Nsikak John, Head, Enterprise Innovation at the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) for partnering the foundation.
The Akwa Ibom Technology Week, sponsored by the Inoyo Toro Foundation attracted seasoned Akwa Ibom indigenes who are experts in the field of innovation.
Among them were Usoro Usoro, Chief Executive Officer, Y’ello Digital Service at MTN Nigeria; Otto Abasi Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Partnerships Innovation and Digital Solutions at VISA, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Nsikan Utuk, Technology Strategy Consultant; Mark Essien, Founder/Chief Executive Officer at Hotels.NG; Aniedi Udo-Obong, Program Manager at Google and Unwana Esang, a Microfinance Bank MD.