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December 30, 2018

We drive economy with technology — Ndubuisi Nzenweofor

We drive economy with technology  — Ndubuisi Nzenweofor

•Nzenweofor

By Chris Onuoha

Ndubuisi Nzenweofor Chibuzor Thierry is a businessman, social entrepreneur, investor and a humanitarian. He is the sixth child of nine siblings to Chief Nzenweofor Donatus and Florence Chike, native of Nnokwa in Idemili South local government area of Anambra State.

Nzenweofor who is a titled chief in Igbo land is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Laclic Services Limited, a company with a network of language centres in Lagos and other states of Nigeria. He also owns start-ups companies – Laclic Travel and Tours, Bantaban, Spirout, Olango and Olango Vista and a foundation called ‘Chief Ndubuisi Nzenweofor Foundation’ that supports internally displaced people, farmers, helpless widows, indigent Nigerians and the less privilege in rural areas across local communities in Nigeria.

In this interview with Vanguard, he speaks among other things how technology will break barriers in business, including his foundation’s humanitarian interventions.

•Nzenweofor

Technology is the in-thing now, and with its huge potentials, it seem Nigerians have not yet keyed into its numerous benefits. As an expert, why is it so?

From my own experience, on the side of utilizing technology to drive economy, you must understand that it is something the country cannot do without. However, technology requires a lot of resources to establish. A lot of people don’t view it that way, for example, our Olango and Olango vista platform, we spent about N5 million to develop it. It is one vital technology based platform that drives economy. A lot of people would ordinarily invest on a regular business without thinking about doing things that makes life easy for other people in terms of utilizing the emerging technology.

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Olango is a language support products   developed in Nigeria by Nigerians to foster language learning across the world and promote international cultural cooperation with the use of technology. It is a first-of-its-kind language learning application that consisted of both mobile and web versions. The application allow users learn any language of their choice with embedded video modules and quiz sessions at the end of each lesson to rate user performance. Olango Vista is a premium version that enables user interaction with a foreign business partner and makes use of an instant translator for both personal engagement and group activities. Other applications that compliment Olango are Banta ban , Spirout and the Travels and Tours developed to facilitate ticket bookings, visa application, hotel reservation, among others. All the applications launched are in line with the vision of the company to break barriers to doing business by putting in place strategies for businesses to thrive .

Coming to challenges experienced in the sector, I think funding is one major factor. The project requires huge amount to imvest which will definitely brings back the returns in a seemless way. While many people have not come into terms with the technology l advancement been experienced in the Europe, America and Asia, you can attest that our banking system today has changed the narratives. Ten years ago, we go to a cashier to collect money from the banking hall, but now, technology has changed things. Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was introduced for ease of doing business, including electronic transaction and online banking among others. Virtually  all financial institutions including business set ups have embraced this technological innovation in the country today. Having said these, you can attest that technology rules the world and that’s why we, in the industry are planning to invest more on technology to drive the economy of the country.

Your foundation has carried out some intervention programmes recently, can you throw more light on these?

Basically, I would say my involvement with NGO initiative was inspired by a particular woman that trained me. Even though, my two parents are still alive, I was trained by a widow that I called Auntie Julia. The lady in question was so generous that she demonstrated selfless services her neighbours and people that have come in contact with her.

she would always say that ‘when you give somebody your precious possession that you are not expecting something in return, you are provoking God to do something big in your life.” Having seen and grew with this uncommon character in her, I was inspired to imitate her deeds by setting up a foundation after her heart.

When I started my business, I imbibed that spirit of giving out to people effortlessly without expecting anything from them in return. And to my surprises without mincing words, contracts, connections and good friends where coming to me.

When I noticed this, the giving in me increased and I was astonished as more opportunities and business connections were opened. The simple philosophy which I strongly believe is a giving spirit that attracts favour in return.

My foundation periodically carries out an outreach programmes where we donate food items to orphanages homes during festive periods including Christmas season to put smile on their faces. We have visited the IDP camps in Benue where we donated bags of rice, Indomie, groundnut oils and cash to the camps. We also went to Taraba State and Bwari community in Abuja FCT. We are also planning to cover some places in the east during this christmas period. Basically, most of this programme is not a one off action. Other things the foundation is planning to do are build a school, hospital and skill acquisition center for our teeming youths where they can learn vocational trade. These are our core mandate before 2022. The idea is to bring continuous succour to people so that they can be self-reliant.

We are also involved in employment schemes. With our skill acquisition center operational, we will be helping those who did not go to school to hone their talents and be better place in work environments. We train them in various vocational jobs and also empower them with small capital to start up their own businesses.

I may use this opportunity to appeal to our fellow Nigerians who are well to do to emulate what we are doing to push the country forward. The reason why we get where we are today is by reaching out with a helping hand to other people. We are doing this to reposition the country   and reduce the poverty level.