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'Youth Empowerment, Critical For National Devt'
[July 08, 2009]

'Youth Empowerment, Critical For National Devt'

Lagos, Jul 08, 2009 (This Day/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Youths have been advised to acquire skills in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and wealth creation so as to contribute towards the country's development.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia, made this remark recently at the awards and closing ceremony of the seventh certiport 2009 worldwide Microsoft office competition in Lagos.

While emphasising the importance of acquiring ICT skills, he said such skills would provide opportunities that would in turn translate into wealth, adding that every sector of the economy required innovative digital input.

"The greatest ICT minds made much of their discoveries in their youthful days. Digital opportunities abound all around you; be creative, start thinking and discover them." Aside forming internet groups he said, youths could maximise opportunities at various fora to develop their potentials and sharpen their skills. "ICT expertise begins with a deliberate effort to develop yourself, seize every opportunity to learn a new thing about how ICT tools can be used to improve your education, your career and your life." No fewer than 10 finalists emerged at the competition, which commenced this February, they included Master Adeolu Olusola Adeyemi, Miss Oluwaseun Oyewole, Master Babatunde Onikoyi, Oluwatobi Babatunde, all of Thomas Adewunmi International College, Oro Kwara State; Miss Ibilola Azeezat Shobanke of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Miss Adeola Abass of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, among others.

Each received a laptop computer from ReadManna Nigeria Limted, the first two students, who scored 941 and 821 points, would represent the country at the world competition scheduled to hold in Toronto, Canada between July 31 and August 1, while the first four received a cash prize of $2,500.

CEO ReadManna Ventures Limited, Mrs. Edna Agusto said the competition was organised to test the proficiency of students all over the world in the use of Microsoft Word and Excel, adding that students drawn from secondary schools and tertiary institutions took a test at Certiport's testing centres all over the country, and logged their scores on the official competition website. "At the end of the first round, entries were summarised and the highest scores in each area were short listed for the final round." She said the finalists took the test again at the same time, under the supervision of the sponsors of the tournament and that their results were competed on the 2003 and 2007 versions of each software.

Master Adeolu Adesina who scored 941 points, said he was happy that he led the competition but it was nonetheless hectic. "I was having my Cambridge and SSCE then, and at a point Further Mathematics had to be postponed to enable us face the competition. He advised students to work hard.

His father, Mr. Olu adeyemi who also advised students to work hard said, "It has not been easy, we have really laboured because we kept encouraging him to work hard. I give God the glory."

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