Thursday , December 9 2021

Zenith bank moves to encourage innovations, technology development

The leading bank in Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc has moved to encourage innovations as well as contribute its quota to the technological advancement in Nigeria.

Sponsoring various technology start-ups and innovative ideas at the recent 2019 Zenith Tech Fair organized by the bank themed ‘Future forward’ held in Lagos, the initiative aims at bringing to the fore technology innovations across every aspect of life.

Speaking during the event, Zenith Bank Chairman, Jim Ovia believed in the years to come, Nigeria will build its own Silicon Valley through sponsoring more innovations and creativities in the area of entertainment, technology, agriculture and others.

According to him, “The world has gone digital and Nigeria economy is now being digitised. The youths on daily basis create new innovations, hence the need for the initiative to sponsor the innovative ideas of young Nigerians. We want to support them in the area of disruptive innovations and technologies such as artificial intelligence and various forms of innovations.

“We want to support them in the area of innovations and technologies and we all know what innovations will do to our economy. This is exactly why we are sponsoring this Zenith Tech Fair, as this is in a bid to encourage our youths to come up with various disruptive technologies and innovations that will channel Nigeria to the direction of global economy,” he noted in his remarks.

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Ovia however urged Nigerians to move with latest trends and technological advancements.

Building on this, the bank’s GMD/CEO, Ebenezer Onyeagwu stressed that Nigeria needs to be aware of what is happening.

“If everyone is talking about 5G and moving ahead, what you see in the digital space is that, if you fail to adapt to the latest technology, you will soon become irrelevant.”

Impressed with the turnout, Onyeagwu acknowledged that virtually every stakeholder in the digital ecosystem was represented at the event.

Addressing the panel, he stated that the project has come up with a hackathon to identify those who have potentials for inauguration and creativity in terms of design.

“The essence of this hackathon is to help us identify those who have potentials for inauguration and creativity in terms of coming up with new designs. For those who will be eventual winners, of course, the bank is going to be providing support to incubate them and see how we can get them to grow even bigger and better than what they are now,” he explained.

On her part, the Country Director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan while speaking at the event highlighted that technology has transformed the way we live, work, do business and interact with one another.

“There are lots of sophistication in the technology space like artificial intelligence and machine learning being used in part of Africa, Nigeria, and across multiple sectors, including agriculture. We are seeing cassava farmers in part of Africa using machine learning to detect diseases. This is made available to them through an interface, which is the mobile phone; a device that almost everyone has access to. We are seeing advancements in cloud technology, security systems and others. This is why we encourage Nigerians to move at the pace of the developed world.

“Beyond connectivity among people and connectivity among devices, there are over 17billion connected devices on the planet today,” she said.

Also, the Country General Manager, IBM Nigeria, Dipo Faulkner while speaking on the need for artificial intelligence in the next industrial revolution said, “Amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilisation flourish like never before. Artificial intelligence is not magic; these robots are taught to learn, to feel and to understand just like humans, and could be of great advantage as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial.”

Faulkner noted major expected benefits of artificial intelligence, including improvements in quality of life and manufacturing of new products and services.

Speaking on the economic benefits of data and data monetisation, the Country Managing Director, Oracle, Adebayo Sanni said there is a rise in data capital, adding that intelligent data monetisation will help drive changes that will benefit business organisations and their customers.

About Bukola Olanrewaju

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