Home News Obituary: Florence Seriki, Omatek Boss Dies At 53

Obituary: Florence Seriki, Omatek Boss Dies At 53


By Nse Anthony-Uko

ABUJA – Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) community has been thrown into mourning following the death of one of its pillars, the founder of Omatek Ventures Plc., Mrs Florence Seriki.
Seriki, an engineer, who died on March 3, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos, was until her death, one of Nigeria’s pioneers and foremost indigenous Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specialising in the manufacturing of computers and other ICT-related devices.
Born on August 16, 1963 to the Udebu family from Ebu, Delta State, the ‘IT Amazon’ as she was popularly called, is said to have died of complications arising from acute cancer of the pancreas and jaundice.
Until her death, Seriki served as CEO/Group Managing Director of Omatek Ventures Plc, the first completely knocked down computer factories in Nigeria a company founded in 1987 which grew to become one of the few information technology companies quoted at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
She held a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
Mrs Seriki, who was the first child in the family of five girls, attended Reagan Memorial Baptist Secondary School, Sabo, Yaba between 1975 and 1980 and later proceeded to the Federal School of Science, Lagos for A’ levels where she emerged the best overall in lower six form.
She was a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) and the Institute of Directors (IoD). She was a one-time president of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN).
Early in 2003, she took another giant stride, opening a factory in Lagos. The factory has turned out to be the very first in Africa to produce Nigerian made computer cases, speakers, keyboards and mouse from completely knocked down (CKD) parts. The factory produced made-in-Nigeria Omatek Computers, Notebooks and Servers with all its components made in Nigeria.
She expanded the business when she established Omatek Ghana as part of her vision towards making Omatek a pan African company. She also opened another arm of the business in Singapore as part of efforts to engage in effective research and development for the business.
She was a recipient of one of Nigeria’s national honours, Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of her selfless service to her motherland, among other honours.
Dr Timothy Farinre, Group Chairman, Omatek Ventures Plc, in a tribute to late Florence Seriki said: “During her lifetime, every day was a challenge – a challenge she enjoyed and with these challenges she grew both personally and technically.
“But equally important, she thoroughly enjoyed working with her professional colleagues. Through her experience, Omatek grew to become a very relaxed atmosphere, which also helped her staff to perform at their best.”
Farinre said her work was part of her self-fulfillment. The other part is of course more personal, be it about spending time with friends and family, or pursuing her hobbies and her job gave her the flexibility to enjoy that just as much.
“Naturally, her university education provided her with the basics, which she applied in her job. But she learnt new things almost every day due to her wide travel experience. She did not pursue these things because she was thinking about her career, but because it was fun and an adventure she didn’t want to miss.”
Florence was talented, innovative, hardworking and a consumate achiever who won over 150 awards during her lifetime, he said
Married to Olalekan Seriki, a successful architect, Florence Seriki was blessed with three children.
The president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, in an interview with The Guardian described Seriki’s death as “very shocking and an unfortunate one for the IT industry and Nigeria as a whole.
“This is a big loss to the industry. Words cannot describe her contributions to the industry, especially as it relates to local content development in the sector, the industry and the economy as a whole. A pioneer founder of the industry, we are still in shock as an association. Condolences to the family,” Teniola stated.
The President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Sola Aderounmu, said: “May God reward all her labour, forgive all her sins and grant her eternal rest. The IT community will definitely miss her.”

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