Nine-year-old Enwere-Kingsley Ikenna, who emerged winner of the 16th Annual National Mathematics Competition (ANMC), has said that the feat is the biggest opportunity he has ever had.
Ikenna said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the 16th ANMC and award on Thursday in Lagos.
NAN reports that Ikenna of Cuddy Kids School, Amuwo-Odofin, emerged overall winner of the 16th ANMC and won the gold medal with a score of 98.85 per cent out of 100 per cent to defeat over 39,518 other candidates.
The candidates, who participated in the competition, were drawn from the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
The competition organised by the Nigeria Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) and the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja was to reward hard work for pupils who really devoted much time to surmount the phobia, which their peers associated with mathematics.
Mr Ercan Yilmaz, Principal , NTIC, Ogun Chapter, had said that Ikenna would get a full scholarship to NTIC with all expenses paid as well as N300,000 cash prize.
His teacher, Mr Kehinde Mukadas, gets N200, 000 while the school will get a digital printer and desktop.
Ikenna, second child of a family of five, said he had previously participated in some competitions at some stages in life adding that this was the first time he was emerging a winner.
He said he worked very hard, studied relentlessly and put in all efforts to win the competition.
The mathematics winner said his parents, together, were a formidable force that always pushed him to work hard and concentrate fully on his studies.
“The only challenges I had in the course of my preparation were distractions and fear, but my teacher was able to help me overcome them,” he said.
Ikenna urged other Nigerian students not to rest on their oars and not be discouraged whenever they failed but to keep trying till they succeeded.
His teacher, Mukadas, expressed joy that his student came first among other geniuses who participated in the competition.
“I am excited because of the performance of my pupil and I believe it will open doors for him to greater heights and also give me recommendation for promotion or opportunity,” he said.