By EMEKA AGINAM
After a keenly contested software competition involving 17 schools from Nigerian tertiary institutions last week at the African knowledge city, Tinapa, Calabar, Cross River state, two software innovators from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State won the 2012 national software Innovation competition organized for students in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The second national software conference and competition with the theme: “Cloud Computing and the future of software Nigeria” was organized by the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, (ISPON) and hosted by the Cross River State government.
The software code warriors, Mr. Olofu Mark and Oguntade Temitope from the department Mathematics and Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering respectively had during their presentation before panel of judges showcased innovative solution titled : One School, a one-stop solution that provides generic and unified solution to support e-learning, e-teaching and e-school administration.
Apart from the two million naira from the Cross River State government won by the team for emerging the overall winner, the team also received additional one million naira from the state government for winning Prof. Cleopas Angaye Cup as the best Open Source Software Developer of the Year.
Similarly, the team also won Prof. Cleopas Angaye Cup for the best Open Source Software Developer of the Year worth two hundred and fifty thousand naira to be awarded by the Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA). This brings the total prize award to three million two hundred and fifty thousand naira.
Additionally, the Cross River state government gave the first runner-up and every category winner of the competition one million naira each.
According to ISPON, Software licenses are major challenges to both software industry and the end-users. It is therefore important that conscious efforts are made to develop solutions that are progressively made free to the society irrespective of the users’ platform. This category of award recognizes the best solution developed using non-proprietary platform.
With excitement the Governor of Cross River State Government, Senator Liyel Imoke while presenting the award told the gathering on Tuesday night that the winners represent a young generation that can compete with anybody in the world. “Everyone who participated in this process is a champion” the Governor said. This is great hope for the future. We see no industry that has propelled economic growth than software. There is no greater infrastructure you can develop like human being.
“Today provide you with real opportunity to express yourselves. We look at you as generation of hope. No matter how brilliant you may be in software development, that brilliance must be put to use to the benefit of mankind. You are the future bill gates. You are our great leaders. Through you, Nigeria can be the great; leading technology of the world” he said.
For the ISPON President, Chris Uwaje, the software code warriors represent new Nigeria. “Go into the international job market and be what you want to be”. ISPON and Cross River State Government are proud of you. Nigeria is proud of you. Your future begins here” the Oracle said to the students.
Reacting to the award, the team leader of the overall winning team Olofu Mark with excitement thanked ISPON and the Cross River State for honoring them.
“This is a big event and i’m extremely excited we are a part of it. Contesting with dozens of teams and innovators and then emerging as overall winner to me is a very big impression. I’m grateful to God.
“Knowledge and skill gained from this competition will go a long way in helping me to become software entrepreneur in the knowledge society” he said.