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Tech visionary Valentine Ozigbo champions next-gen Nigerian coders with mentorship, stipends



Tech visionary Valentine Ozigbo champions next-gen Nigerian coders with mentorship, stipends

Valentine Ozigbo, a titan of Nigerian business and philanthropy, set the halls of Decagon Institute in Benin City, alight on Sunday, November 19, 2023, as he paid a mentorship visit to the Anambra Future Tech scholars sponsored by his non-profit, VCO Foundation.

The Anambra Future Tech scholars, beneficiaries of Mr Ozigbo’s VCO Foundation’s financial guarantee, were inspired and encouraged to chart a bright path for themselves.

In the event that blurred the lines between a corporate visit and a master class, Mr. Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, delivered an impassioned address that was both a call to action and a benediction.

“Today, as you stand on the brink of endless possibilities, remember that you are not just future tech leaders; you are pioneers of a new era,” Ozigbo, a multiple-award-winning global CEO, said.

“Through your skills, creativity, and innovation, you have the power to redefine the world. Let each line of code you write, every problem you solve, and every barrier you break, be a testament to the change you embody.

“At VCO Foundation, we are committed to our mantra which is, ‘Shaping Futures, Enriching Lives’, that is why we decided to become a part of your journey.

“We realise that tech is the future, and the youth of Nigeria exemplify the right amount of hope, determination, and vision to open up a future of endless possibilities. So, go forth and craft a tomorrow that mirrors your most ambitious dreams,” Ozigbo said.

The audience, comprised of over 100 young Nigerian university graduate students of Decagon, absorbed every word, and Mr. Ozigbo’s surprise announcement of a stipend for the students elicited a wave of applause and served to underscore the VCO Foundation’s dedication to fostering talent and ambition.

As the event transitioned into a question and answer session, the students engaged with Mr. Ozigbo, seeking insight and advice on navigating the evolving tech landscape and positioning Nigeria at the forefront of global innovation.

The session was also notable for the virtual presence of Chika Nwobi, Decagon’s Founder and CEO, who expressed his gratitude towards Mr. Ozigbo’s mentorship and the profound impact of the VCO Foundation’s sponsorship.

This visit by Valentine Ozigbo is not just another corporate social responsibility checkbox; it is a tangible investment in the future of Nigeria’s tech industry.

In a groundbreaking move to address youth unemployment in Anambra State, the Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation joined forces with the Decagon Institute in July 2023 to provide a platform for a new generation of software engineering talent to excel in the global tech arena.

The collaboration involves a substantial commitment from the VCO Foundation, which offers a N400 million guarantee to facilitate the participation of 100 Anambra students in this transformative program.

This initiative marks a significant milestone in bridging the gap between talented graduates and the competitive tech industry. The alliance presents a rare opportunity for ambitious graduates from Anambra interested in technology.

Through the VCO Foundation’s backing, these individuals will gain access to student loans, enabling them to enroll in the Decagon Software Engineering Training Program—a step that could radically alter their career trajectories.

Decagon Institute, known for its rigorous training, has already made notable strides in the tech education sector. To date, it has graduated approximately 1,000 software engineers, many of whom have secured positions at leading tech companies such as Microsoft, JP Morgan, Interswitch, Flutterwave, and Sterling Bank.

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