In a capitalist society where businesses operate with utter disregard for matters beyond their bottom-line when companies deliberately go against this nauseating grain, the spiel ‘’a breath of fresh air’’ succinctly conveys the emotions of the concerned public.
In fairness to firms operating in Nigeria, there is increased awareness about CSR activities and business sustainability in general, nevertheless, those efforts are rather few and far between.
It is against this backdrop that this writer finds it most inspiring when companies, under no compulsion, make sustainable long-term investments in the community.
Indigenous technology companies, fintechs inclusive, are providing the standard for peers across the country.
These companies are making sustainable impacts that are poised to reshape the future of the nation.
Classified among those companies is SystemSpecs, a pioneer technology firm, committed to capacity development for the economic advancement of the country.
The company, among its other CSR endeavours, is keen on developing the future workforce by girding them with the required skills to thrive in the dynamic workplace.
Having worked with and nurtured first-rate software developers and engineers over the course of almost three decades, the firm is well apprised of the challenges facing skill employers and the sector as a whole.
The problem of brain drain is palpable in the local ICT sector with companies performing the yeoman’s job of nurturing talents upon the conclusion of their tertiary education only to see them carted away by multinationals and foreign countries.
To tackle this problem, SystemSpecs has evidently committed itself to the development of skilled software development talents for the local environment.
This is expected to complement other efforts aimed at boosting capacity for the development of Nigeria into a technology hub.
Rreducing the impact of technology brain drain and ensuring there’s a vibrant pipeline of qualitative skills to replace migrated techie skills.
It identified that achieving this objective requires the impartation of the required technology skills to individuals to succeed in the coming decades from their formative years.
In view of the foregoing, the company, in collaboration with TechQuest, organised a coding camp-themed the Remita Summer Coding Camp for secondary school students to furnish them with the appropriate skills for seamless integration into the future workforce.
The camp, which held in Lagos and Abuja, relied heavily on knowledge of experts who doubled as mentors and instructors to the participants during the month-long programme.
The boot camp, this writer was made to know, featured students from twenty schools across all geo-political zones.
Participants were inspired by experts who shared, first-hand, their experiences in the sector and encouraged the young ones to pursue careers in the sector on account of the upshoot in demand for tech skills.
Over and above that, the company is at the forefront of the concerted drive to produce holistic growth of the sector.
For a number of years, the company has partnered with several organisations on various initiatives pertaining to the advancement of the sector.
One such partnership worked to great effect at the 2019 Nigerian Fintech Week in conjunction with the Fintech Association of Nigeria.
The firm sponsored a Students’ Conference & Hackathon for undergraduates in tertiary institutions across the country at the University of Ibadan.
The thing about most of this type of events that put this writer off is the one-off approach by many organisations without any plan for continuity but are more interested in noise than substance.
Many of them even appear to lack clear directions or expected impact from their involvement.
From the look of things however, the SystemSpecs’ sponsored Students Conference might succeed in dispelling that presupposition.
No fewer than ten schools were duly represented at the conference, in addition to a host of dignitaries including the Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Daud Sangodoyin.
As expected from a conference of such magnitude, the top three contestants were awarded thousands of U.S. dollars as reward for ideating ingenious solutions and to function as a capital base for their startups.
With relations to startups, the firm seizes every opportunity availed it to contribute to the overall progress of the fintech ecosystem by participating in industry events and initiatives.
Sharing experiences, mentorships and forging strategic partnerships have been observed to be tactically infused into the organisation’s intervention initiatives.
When quizzed about the rationale behind its CSR activities, the company expressed its desire for an integrated transformation of the Nigerian technology value chain.
They are resolute in their belief that bigger firms must show must greater commitment to the end-to-end development of the sector for the evolution of the country and to ensure that the industry never runs out of its life-blood, talents.
Unsurprisingly, the company has greatly contributed to the growth of all the cogs in the industry with many remarkable initiatives that transcend the scope of this piece.
Similar contributions will unquestionably advance the sector and safeguard the status of the country as the mecca for foreign fintech expansions
By Anthony Iwelumo
Featured Image: L-R
Dr. Olalekan Obisesan, Convener of Fintech, University of Ibadan; Dr. Demola Lewis, Deputy Dean of Students’ Affairs; Prof. Kehinde Sangodoyin, Commissioner for Education, Science & Technology, Oyo State; Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, Chief Operating Officer, Fintech Association of Nigeria, and Mujib Ishola, Head of Technology, Infrastructure & Payment Gateway, SystemSpecs at the 2019 Nigeria Fintech Week Students’Conference sponsored by SystemSpecs in Oyo
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