Six under-16 students will represent the country at the 16th edition of the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) in Qatar.
The students, who are the best science students selected from all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), will compete in the natural sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
The Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said only the best is good for Nigeria.
He said the selection of the nation’s best junior science students was done to create a new Nigeria where items currently imported will be produced locally country.
The minister spoke yesterday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, when he met with the team of the nation’s representatives to the IJSO competition.
He expressed the confidence that Nigeria will soon get to the point where no one will want to cross the Sahara or Mediterranean to travel to Europe for better life.
Onu said: “We are always happy to see young Nigerians show great interest in science. We congratulate you and know that you will do your very best for the country. As you bring the gold medal back to Nigeria, you must recognise that only the best is good enough for Nigeria. We can no longer do with second best.
“We are doing this because we believe that the future of our great nation is in the hands of young people. It is only people who are creative and innovative that can help Nigeria to recreate itself because we are looking for a new Nigeria. The President is working very hard to help us recreate our nation. We want a Nigeria where most of the things we import will be produced locally so that our people who want to work can have jobs to defeat poverty.”
“As I look at you, I am very confident that in future, no Nigerian will take the risk of passing through the Sahara Desert or Mediterranean Sea to go to Europe for better life.”
For the competition, all states’ ministries of Science and Technology as well as Education, with the Federal Territory (FCT), selected their best students via a competitive examination.
The best students were subjected to further preliminary examinations at their geopolitical zones, where 35 students participated.
Bayelsa and Borno states did not participate.
Based on their performances and age, 12 students were selected from 12 states.
They are: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Kaduna, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Imo and Taraba as well as the FCT.
The students have been in a training camp since August 16 for final round of examination to select the best six to represent the country at the competition.