The maiden 2020 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) challenge was held on Wednesday at the Jaji military cantonment, Kaduna, to display innovations of Nigerian youths in flying locally made prototype aircraft.
The challenge, which showcased locally made aircraft flown by the participants, grouped into three, was mainly to uncover hidden talents.
Our correspondent reports that the competition was held in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Bureau, Defence Headquarters, and funded by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), alongside the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), among others.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the competition, the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee, on the 2020 UAV challenge, Prof. Abiodun Musa, said the applicants went through three stages of screening before 18 participants nation wide were shortlisted for the competition.
He explained that the stages included online application for the competition, screening of the applications by a team of assessors, before the 18 participants scaled to the fourth stage to start the competition.
“We are trying to get the best of Nigeria who would get the technology to the next level; we made series of advertisements and created a website for Nigerians, who have knowledge of the field, to apply.
”This competition is not only about talent hunt, we also want to have Nigerians who, we can train to have the necessary skills for UAV development and deployment in Nigeria.
“We are talking about industry 4.0, the key areas to develop are artificial intelligence, UAV and unmanned ground vehicles”, he said.
He noted that UAV and other similar technological innovations and expertise would go along way in boosting the desired outcomes for the communication and digital economy sector in the country.
“UAVs will also go along way in improving health, disaster management and rescue ; the UAV has a very wide area for which it can be used.
“The UAV can be used in deliveries by online markets and payments made on board upon arrival, it has come to stay and can be used in many other areas of human endeavour not only for security”, Musa said.
NAN reports that the winner of the competition would take home N6millon, while the second and third runners-up will receive N3millon and N2 million, respectively, at the end of the competition on Dec. 10.