Five Pupils who emerged winners from the National Coding Training and Talent Search for School Children will by the end of the year, participate at the Global Coding Competition to be organised by Microsoft, the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has said.

He disclosed this during the Certificate and Award Presentation to the pupils who were selected from various public and private schools across the country.

The National Coding Training and Talent Search is an initiative of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) aimed at introducing the children under the ages of 8-16 years to the coding system. The first edition of the training had in attendance 117 children drawn from various schools across the country while efforts are in place to begin the zonal training.

The Minister while commending the winners advised them to make the nation proud by emerging winners at the Global Coding Competition. He further advised them to help the country by educating their peers who could not make it to the training. He said, “I commend you for the efforts you have put into the training. I want to challenge you that when you get back to your various schools, try to familiarize you friends with the whole idea of coding”.

Barrister Shittu who described the National Coding Competition as a patriotic initiative of the National Information Technology Development Agency, said the training was a “massive investment in the professional growth of Nigerian children.”

Addressing the five pupils that will be travelling to USA , the Minister stated that it is important to learn a new lesson from U. S which is the global headquarter of ICT and come back with renewed interest and versatility that will assist the country in solving her ICT challenges.

“I also want to congratulate other participants that took part in this program, the spirit is not necessarily to win but to participate because in participating, you learn everything necessary and those who may not have won any price, you should be consoled by the fact that you have learnt something which will last you a life time”.

He assured the pupils of government’s resolve to provide schools with ICT facilities that would enable innovation. “Government will continue to provide computer laboratories and other ICT facilities to schools which will enable you have access to the internet”, Barrister Shittu Said.

Earlier in his remark, the Acting Director General NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji who was represented by the Director of Software and Outsourcing, Mr. Chris Okeke stated that National Coding Competition is a strategy to overcome the obvious gaps that exist between the educational system and the ICT industry. The aim is to “catch them young”.

He said; “we have witnessed the performances of the children by their display of mastery of coding. The curriculum was carefully selected to engender desire and prompt result. Although this was an introductory window into the term-time training, the achievements portend great expectations for the youths and will serve as the engine of innovation that could catalyze national development with economic and political implications.”

He listed three expectations which the initiative is set to realize to include, catalyst for the development of local software as a means to reduce importation of foreign software; improving the youths problem solving capabilities as a contribution to national development and examine the technology intensive industry by seeing software development as a component of using ICT as an enabler for other sectors.

Speaking with the overall winner of the competition, Master Samuel Ejiga a student of Government Day Secondary School, Karu Abuja, expressed satisfaction to emerge as a winner of the competition, adding that he would represent the country well in the Global Competition.

He said the website he designed is to showcase to the world various delicacies in the country and how to prepare such food.