The Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, a serial digital entrepreneur, has heaped praises on Keystone Bank, describing its partnership with CeLD to launch CashToken as a move that will go a long way to revolutionize customer loyalty in Nigeria.
CashToken is an electronic reward and celebratory gift commodity designed to optimize customer loyalty investments for businesses, individuals and government establishments by offering recipients an opportunity to win life-changing cash rewards between N5000 and N100m every week, among other benefits.
Speaking at the 500 CEOs Hyper Centricity conference which featured the official unveiling of CashToken at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Ekeh disclosed that one of the major reasons behind the worrisome unemployment situation in the country was the inability of banks and other financial institutions to explore creative avenues to support start-ups and empower millions of jobless youths.
Ekeh, who was the Chairman on the occasion, noted that he had always referred to himself as a digital orphan, considering the challenges he faced in his attempts to raise funds while starting out as an entrepreneur – a situation which inspired him in working extremely hard to offer himself as a collateral in order to realize his corporate ambitions.
“I commend Keystone Bank and CeLD for the launch of CashToken. It is a solution that willrevolutionize the scope of customer loyalty and expand access to funding for SMEs. This is a timely intervention, considering the difficulties faced by start-ups, especially those in the tech sector in raising funds to pursue their dreams. When I started out as a struggling tech entrepreneur, it was very difficult raising funds as the banks did not understand technology back then. They were more interested in extending loans and other credit facilities to oil companies.
“Today, we are in an era in which technology is altering the destiny of most countries in the world. Yet, we still see a situation where our banks are still not willing to give a chance to tech start-ups. I also see the governments giving more concentration to agriculture. There is nothing wrong with that but for these youths to embrace farming, then it must be scientific agriculture. We must understand that today’s youths are digital natives, many of whom are eager to take their place in a knowledge economy driven by equal access to wealth. Tech start-ups are defined by attitude, culture and lifestyle. This is the language of the current generation. Just ask your kids at home what they would like to become in future and see what responses you will get from them.
“I urge other banks to follow in the footsteps of Keystone Bank by giving tech start-ups and other smart youths a chance. If we empower 10 tech start-ups and only two of them succeed, the combined returns from that investment will far exceed anything we hope to derive from any other sector,” he said.
The event which climaxed with the unveiling of the CashToken logo, had a number of technocrats, dignitaries and Chief Executive Officers from major organizations in Corporate Nigeria present.
Among these was Managing Director, Keystone Bank, Obeahon Ohiwerei; Founder and CEO, CeLD Innovations, Lai Labode; Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, SegunOgunsanya;
Also, Acting GMD/CEO, Heritage Bank Ltd., Jude Monye; Director General, Consumer Protection Council, Tunde Irukera; Director General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, LanreGbajabiamila; Group Managing Director, Interswitch, Mitchel Elegbe; Managing Director, CornerStone Insurance, Ganiu Musa; Managing Director, AiicoMultishield Ltd., Dr. LekeOshuniyi; Enterprise Commercial Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Wale Olokodana; Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund, Bello Maigari and Chairman, Obalende-Ikoyi Local Govt Area., Hon FuadAtanda-Lawal, among others.