The Nigerian Government through the National Information Technology Development Agency, has launched its National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
The centre was launched on Friday, November 12, 2020 where Director-General of NITDA, Inuwa Abdullahi said the agency was relentless in its pursuit of the aspiration of President Muhammadu Buhari by seizing the opportunities of AI and Robotics to create jobs for the teeming youth of Nigeria.
The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics was constructed by NITDA under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
The Centre is built to foster the development of emerging technologies in preparing Nigeria for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and strategy.
The event was attended by the Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Umar Dambatta (represented), the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ali Pantami (Chief host) among other dignitaries.
“As we enter the age of advanced technological breakthroughs such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Nigeria cannot be left out in harnessing the advantages of AI, Robotics and other emerging technologies,” Abdullahi said
“AI has the potential to add to economic growth but the impact may be gradual and take sometimes to manifest according to McKinsey Global Institute.
“Develop countries can add 20 to 25% net income to their GDP while developing countries like Nigeria can add 5 to 15%.
“Nigerian GDP is around 400B USD thus AI can add between 20B to 60B USD in 10 years. This centre is aimed at achieving such unprecedented boost to our economy.
“In a related development, World Economic Forum predicted that nearly 60 million jobs will be added to labour market thanks to AI and Robotics.
“Let me briefly give a background on Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is the ability of machine to mimic human thinking and behavour.
“AI is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience.
“Robotics is the engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and operation of robots.
“Robots are complementary to human labour and can be applied in hazardous environment such as firefighting, nuclear field and many more.
“We observed from all over the world that robots were used in the care of COVID-19 patient
“You would agree with me that this is even more critical in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has ushered unprecedented adjustments in human relations and activities the world over, leading to “the new normal” cliché.
”The unwritten code, therefore, seems to be, ‘Be abreast with technological advancement or be left behind.
“And since the present administration in Nigeria does not want our country to be left behind in the global scheme of things, measures were taken and are being taken to promote and facilitate ICT development across board.”