The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Inuwa, has tasked children to grab opportunities in the ICT ward to develop themselves and become problem solvers.
Speaking Saturday in Abuja during the awards and closing ceremony of the NITDA Stem Bootcamp for Kids (SB4Kids), Inuwa said that computers are taking over the jobs hitherto performed by humans, hence the need for children to learn coding and programming; in order to have a place in the world of computers.
He said: “We live in a world of computers today. Over 14 billion devices or computers are in existence worldwide. We have computers in our houses. We have smart homes. We use computers in everything we do. Computers are very important in our lives. Imagine a world without internet. Can you imagine a world without computers? We grew up in a world without computers, but today we use computers for almost everything we do in our world. There is nobody in this room that is not using a computer.
“In the whole world, only less than one per cent of the population control what we read or say with the computers they designed; that is why coding is important. Most of the people started coding when they were less than 18 years and had the opportunity. That is why NITDA designed the Stem Bootcamp for kids (SB4Kids) so that you can develop yourselves.
“Seven out of ten fastest paying jobs are in the ICT. If you want to be among the highest paid people in the world today, you have to start a career in ICT. You need a computer for any job now. If you can think of teaching or as a lawyer, engineer and other professions, you need a computer.”
He added: “In the future, computer will take over our jobs. This is because computers are now operating different tasks better than human beings. We have reached a situation whereby computers think and behave like human beings. So, we need more people that can code. In the future, there will be no jobs than those that will be computer based. Any job you can think of, computer is already doing it
“If you want to be like those who introduced computers, you can start learning now how to program and how to do coding. This is just the beginning. We started the basics just one week ago, but we have centres you can join when you get back to your different schools.
“We have so many problems in the world today and you can only solve them with computers. To make money, you have to be a problem solver. You can work with us to help you develop your own computer games. We want to see games with African features and characters.
“Also, as parents, we can encourage our children to develop their own computer games with African values, instead of always complaining. There is less than one per cent of Nigerians today who can code. You cannot find up to one million people in Nigeria who can code. That is why you are lucky to be part of the people in the class. If you can learn, in the near future, you will be the next Elon Musk or the next Bill Gates.”
Highlight of the event was the presentation of gifts to best performing students in the STEM Bootcamp for Kids, with the NITDA DG appreciating different designs and inventions by the children during a demo tour.