Zenith Bank says it will encourage more Nigerian students to participate in the annual Microsoft Office Specialist Championship.
The annual Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship is a global competition that tests students’ skills in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Miss Katherine Eta, a Nigerian secondary school student, came third in the last championship held in California, US.
Zenith International Bank sponsored five Nigerian students to the last championship.
Peter Amangbo, Zenith Bank Group Managing Director, made the promise when he received Eta and Mrs Edna Agusto, the Vice Chairman of ReadAmana, organisers of the championship in Nigeria.
He said that the bank would work with ReadAmana to ensure that more Nigerian students would participate in future editions of Microsoft Championship.
Amangbo said the objective of the competition aligned with the bank’s strategy on corporate social responsibility which had youth empowerment through ICT at its core.
“It was good to hear something refreshing coming from Nigeria. From that perspective we are indeed pleased that our children can actually distinguish themselves in such a global event.
“I want to assure you that for us in Zenith, technology is what we are known for.
“When it comes to supporting the younger ones, when it comes to initiatives like this, we are willing to partner with others like you to make ICT education accessible.
“Our own objective is to see how we can spread this to more children to have the opportunity not just in this part of the world, but almost all over.
“I believe that over time we can extend it to children outside Lagos and help the growth of ICT,” he said.
Amangbo promised the bank’s support for the planned enlargement of the competition to enable more students take part in the Nigerian competition and earn the chance to represent the country in future world championships.
The last championship was contested by about 1.1 million students from 140 countries out of which 157 students from 50 countries eventually qualified to compete in the world finals.
ReadAmana, which organises the Nigerian competition, has already declared its intention to enlarge the competition.
“You know you will be able to stand and be able to do more things, it is a solid foundation in this ICT world because today, digital literacy is the language of the economy.
“So, if you don’t know how to speak this language you are at a disadvantage,
“So we decided to start at the grassroots, work with the schools so that these children can have the right foundation and from there, they can move on to more advanced computer certification and knowledge,” Agusto said.
Amangbo announced additional cash prizes to the award-winning Katherine (N750,000) and her teacher Mrs. Rukayat Adebayo (N250,000) who had earlier won a N250,000 ReadAmana Chairman’s cash prize.