The five Nigerian girls from Regina Pacies Secondary School, Onitsha, and the four boys from St. John Science and Technical College, Alor, both in Anambra, are now worth several billions of dollars.
Chairman of Silicon Valley-Nigeria Economic Development (SV-NED) , Chief Temitope Ajayi, said after Jumia listed on New York Stock Exchange that the Anambra girls and boys were littered all over Nigeria, adding all they need is opportunity.
The five girls represented Nigeria and Africa at the World Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco, where they won the Gold Medal in the contest.
They won the Challenge with a mobile application called the FD-Detector, which they developed to help tackle the challenge of fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.
Similarly, the boys – Meshac Ugwuisi, Anthony Chika-Umeora, Daniel Nwachukwu and Dominic Machi, clinched Bronze medal at a recent International Festival of Engineering, Science and Technology (IFEST) competition in Tunisia.
The boys developed two devices called the “Adaptable Alternative Power Supply for Sub-Saharan Africa”, which is a single, fully-packaged solar technology.
The other device was a “Noiseless Inverter System”, which was all-locally sourced and produced by the boys.
Ajayi said the girls and the boys needed to be brought back to Silicon Valley to develop their capacity so they could help contribute to the technological advancement of Nigeria.
“I spoke with the Deputy Governor of Anambra State. I told him that those girls can change the economy of Anambra State. They’ve already discovered them.
“Let them bring them back to Silicon Valley. We will bring them in front of Angel Investors. For them to win that award, they are worth billions of dollars.
“That is my advice for Nigeria. The Nigerian and Anambra Governments should monitor the students. Let them bring those girls back, we will repackage them and let us see what God has in stock for them.
“Anambra state is the luckiest state in Nigeria right now if they know their (girls and boys) potential, if they know the value of those kids, those are protégées.
“If they buy that thing (inventions) for a couple of billions, everybody will shake because they are potential billionaires. I love my country.
“I saw those Anambra girls and boys littered all over Nigeria. All they need is opportunities and we have it in Silicon Valley,” she said.
The SV-NED chief urged the federal and state governments to give their own equity contributions for those kids, asking, “who talked about them again?”
She said bringing them to Silicon Valley would ensure investment in their intellectual property through the Angel Investors, adding that the big corporations could buy their intellectual property.
Ajayi said Nigeria was very fortunate and commended the initiative of the President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo through various programmes to empower the youth.