By Emmanuel Elebeke
While a lot of children are idling away, playing games, and watching movies, their peers have seized the opportunity provided by the 2016 digitest to churn out technology innovations that could fetch Nigeria some billions of dollars as foreign exchange.
The digitest was organised by Digital Peers International, Abuja. The initiative, gathered school children from various secondary schools from across the country and camped them for two weeks in an annual ICT contest. However, the school children saw the opportunity as a way of channelling their creative energy into very productive ventures.
For the students, it was also an opportunity to express deep thinking prowess and capability which resulted in inventing and developing applications that solves problems mostly associated with Nigerians in the rural areas people.
These applications ranged from e-health solution apps to e-government, transportation, aviation, fashion solutions which are capable of earning billions of dollars when properly showcased.
A member of the victorious team in the senior category of the contest, Igba Emmanuel, from Christ Redeemers International College, Akure, told Hi-Tech that his team invented a medical application, e-Doctor that can detect symptoms of diseases through an android phone. Narrating their story, Igba said, “our idea is to help poor Nigerians who cannot afford hospital bills. The app can be used by a patient for self diagnosis. It will tell you symptoms, and recommend method of treatment, either traditionally or modern method.
“It took us two days to invent the app during our two-week camping session” he added
Commenting on the initiative, the Director of Public Affairs in the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo said that the passion of the coordinator, Mrs Ibukun Odusote was commendable as it was able to bring youth between ages of 8-18 years closer to ICT and as well got them into programming and inventing applications.
Also speaking on the event, a former minister of information, Ibrahim Nakande, advised federal government to accord ICT with the priority attention it deserved in the ongoing diversification plan for the effort to yield the desired result.
He said: “If some of the applications developed by these children are well put together and packaged, it is something that can generate some revenue. It is something other people should get involved in different parts of the country, because in this age, it is the only way forward and the way to go.
“If children of this age can begin to apply themselves to developing ICT, the future is bright for this country,” he added.
Earlier in her address, the organiser of the programme, Mrs.Odusote explained said that the theme was chosen to address the dearth of entrepreneurial information Technology, IT skills in young people in Nigeria. She said such skills were required to turn the fortune of the nation around.