By Abolade Ogundimu
Abuja – The Minister for Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu, has called on Nigerian youths to aspire for greatness in Information and Communication Technology(ICT).
Shittu made the call on Thursday at the end of the National Coding Training and Talent Search for secondary school students by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Abuja.
According to the Minister, ICT does not require raw materials or natural resources to succeed, saying the training is a means of nurturing the nation’s youth to greatness in the area of ICT.
“The greatest new billionaires are in the area of ICT because that is one area which does not require raw materials or natural resources to succeed.
” All you need is your brain power to be among the global achievers in ICT.
“ These small kids are being exposed to the right method of developing their ICT intelligence and brilliance and we must put in everything to assist and support them.
“It is a very important project and the Federal Government will continue to support such projects,” he said.
The minister, therefore, called on the participants to make best use of the training, while the youths should keep brainstorming on how to open up new frontiers in the ICT sector.
Dr Vincent Olatunji, Acting Director-General, NITDA, represented by Mr Christopher Okeke, Director, Software and Outsourcing in the agency, said the nation was taking advantage of its teeming youth to become leader in ICT world.
“Software rules the world because no nation develops without solution of computer application, Nigeria has advantage of growing in the ICT world because of its teeming youth population.
“Also, the official language, `English’, is mostly used in computer programming and application, all these are opportunities for the nation to grow to any possible length in ICT,” he said.
Olatunji added that three out of the 157 participants in the training would be representing the country in the US for international competitions by Microsoft and Google later this year.
The best three participants in their nominal order are: Master Samuel Ejiga of Government Day Secondary School, Karu; Miss Ayomide Tejuosho, Grange Schools and Master Adeyantso Timothy of Premier Acadamy.
Speaking with the media, Ejiga said he emerged winner because he got encouragement from his teacher to keep trying.
“Initially,I was not interested in the coding because it was not working out well but due to the encouragement I got from my teacher, I became interested and put in more efforts.
“I implore my folks to keep working hard and stay determined in order to succeed in any good thing they are doing,” he said.
Ejiga said, winning the training award through his code would be a means of attracting tourists to the nation, showing Nigerian foods and abundance of the raw materials for producing them.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that NITDA,a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Communication organises various trainings and workshops for the development of ICT in the country.
NAN also recalls that Mr Mark Zukerberg, the young and talented innovator of facebook social media, recently visited the country to encourage the youths on development of ICT applications for individual and national growth.(NAN)