Imo receives N12.5m, laptops as private sector support for ‘SkillUpImo Project


The Imo state government says its ‘SkillUpImo Project’, a youths digital skills empowerment programme, has received support from two tech enthusiasts.

The state government announced this in a statement by Sandra Obiefule, its public relations officer, ministry of digital economy and e-government. 

The state said the support was in the form of cash and information technology (IT) donations.

According to the statement, the ‘SkillupImo Project’ is its premier human capacity development programme focused on empowering youths with cutting-edge digital skills that will keep them relevant in the 21st century, with the aim to train 300,000 youths over the next three years. 

It said the youths will be trained in advanced-level digital skills in computer appreciation, device repair and maintenance, content creation, web design and development, internet of things (IoT), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, cybersecurity, among others.

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The state said the programme, implemented under the administration of Hope Uzodimma, Imo governor, received support from Leo Ekeh, founder of Zinox Technologies, and Innocent Unoha, president and chief executive officer of Inno and Bisco Groups.

“Eke made a cash donation of N12.5 million to the State’s Ministry of Digital Economy and E-government, the ministry implementing the SkillUpImo Project, to support the effort of the State Governor in training and empowerment of Imolites with employability skills in emerging and mainstream technologies,” the statement reads. 

“Ekeh’s Zinox Technologies is one of Africa’s most integrated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies; the first Nigerian internationally-certified ICT firm also rated as a leading ICT firm in Africa as a whole.

“Ekeh, an illustrious son of Imo State and Forbes-rated billionaire and IT guru, has supported the Imo digital initiative not just financially but has job opportunities awaiting 200 graduate trainees of the SkillUpImo project with specialisation in phone repairs, digital marketing, and so on.

“Also, Unoha, an entrepreneur of note, tech enthusiast and philanthropist, who is based in Istanbul, Turkey, donated 10 units of high-end modern laptops to the Ministry in support of the SkillupImo initiative of Hope Uzodimma’s administration.”

Commenting on the donations by the two individuals, Chimezie Amadi, commissioner, ministry of digital economy and e-government, Imo state, said the gestures were a welcome development and a clear testimony of the general appeal that the ‘SkillUpImo Project’ has generated across demographics since it was launched in December 2022.

While thanking the donors, Amadi described the forward-thinking and innovative leadership of Uzodimma’s administration as a good sign of public buy-in. 

The commissioner said the gestures indicated the donors’ philanthropic and corporate social responsibility to complement the efforts of the state. 

Amadi called on other corporate bodies and well-meaning Nigerians to support the project. 

He said private sector partnership and collaboration in digital economy are crucial to drive businesses, speed up innovation, create jobs and wealth, aid in building modern, sustainable and reliable infrastructure, and make for cost-efficient operations.