The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded cash prizes of N3 million to the winners of its inaugural ‘Nigerian Girls Can Code’ competition.

The contest, with the theme “Innovative ways to address the challenges of food insecurity through the application of 5G technology”, was contested by female high school students from across the country.

At-tabiya Stem School Abuja came in first place and won a cash prize of N1.5 million while Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) in Borno got N1 million for the second position.

Ambassadors School in Ogun State won a cash prize of N500,000 after taking third place.

Adeolu Akande, chairman of the NCC board of commissioners, unveiled the winners in Abuja on Wednesday.

Akande said the competition was designed to address the challenges of digital inequality in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

“The winners of this competition were selected based on app functionality, innovation, accessibility, business potential, and overall national impact. The commission is committed to achieving pillar 2, of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, which focuses on digital literacy and skills,” he said.

“For the competition, the NCC sent out invitations to 54 high schools but only 36 responded with 12 showing interest. However, out of 12, only 11 participated with four judges, namely: Agwu Amugo, SAGE Nigeria (Chairperson) Martha Alade, of Favor Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), the Administrative Secretary of the Software Practitioners Institute of Nigeria , Paul Uzoechina and Halima Mohammed from the NCC”.

Umar Danbatta, executive vice president of the commission, said the competition was started to empower girls in technology.

Danbatta, who was represented by Ubale Maska, NCC technical service commissioner, said empowering women and girls will drive prosperous economies and spur productivity and growth.

“The inclusion of girls in ICT is in line with the efforts of the United Nations to empower girls in technology and close the digital gender gap,” she said.

“The competition has been designed to improve digital literacy and skills for the country’s emerging digital economy, reduce digital inequality, improve digital access, and narrow the digital divide between men and women in ICT innovation and development.

“The Nigerian Girls Coding Competition is also framed to support learning tech skills for girls and promote a wider national audience among others.”

Below are photos of the event.