Omatek founder, Florence Seriki laid to rest amid tears in Lagos

The remains of the Founder and CEO of Omatek Computers, Mrs. Florence Seriki, was finally laid to rest yesterday in Lagos, shortly after a funeral mass in her honour at the Catholic Holy Cross Cathedral Church, Lagos.

She passed on March 3, 2017 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), after battling with pancreas cancer.

The Catholic Church in Lagos witnessed unprecedented crowd who came out to pay her their last respects.

Stakeholders in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, where she left indelible marks also turned out in their large numbers.

Monsignor Gabriel Osu, from Lekki parish, celebrated the funeral mass with Rev. Fr. Vincent Bankole from Surulere parish, both from Lagos.

The homily by the Monsignor centred on four key points: material things, the human body, relations and friends, as well as the human soul.

He said most people attached too much importance to the first three and neglect the fourth, the human soul, which ought to be given more priority.

He prayed for the respose of the soul of Florence Seriki and advised all present to begin reconciliation with man and God, since nobody knew the day and hour that death would come knocking.

Immediately after the funeral mass, her remains was quickly moved to its final place of rest by Ebony Undertakers, leaving friends and relations of the deceased in tears.

Seriki who studied Chemical Engineering from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), was married to Olalekan Seriki, an Architect, and blessed with a boy and two girls.

She was born to the family of late Andrew Udebu and Mrs. Victoria Udebu, both from Ebu in Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State.

She had her primary and secondary school education in Lagos, before proceeding to the university to study Chemical Engineering.

Florence Omatule Seriki, started computer trading as a vendor before establishing Omatek Ventures in 1987, as a local computer assembling plant in Lagos.

In 1993, she launched the Omatek brand of computers. She later expanded the business by opening a branch of Omatek in Ghana and another branch in Singapore later.

She was a member of several ICT industry associations, including the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and the Information Technology Industry Association of Nigeria (ITAN), where she was president of ITAN. She won several industry awards while alive. As a Chemical Engineer, Seriki put her skills in the business, which started picking up as at that time.

In order to raise money for the computer assembling business, Seriki listed her company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2008, and the IPO was oversubscribed, raising more money for her business, being the only technology company listed on NSE as at then.

Trouble however started when banks decided to take over the business in order to recoup the huge amount of money she borrowed to expand her computer assembling business.

Industry players, friends and well-wishers described Florence Seriki as a hard working woman while on earth.

Until her death, she remained an inspirational figure to generations of African men and women and this is attributable to her sterling character and exploits across various fields in her lifetime.

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