By Ogaga Ariemu
The Director General, National Information Technology Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi said Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics have the potential to add between 5 to 15 per cent net income to Nigeria’s GDP worth about $400 Billion.
Kashifu made this disclosure to Nigerian NewsDirect Newspaper at the official commissioning ceremony of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics on Friday 13th November.
He noted that due to the burgeoning impact of AI, Robotics on the information technology ecosystem, President Muhammadu Buhari’s adminstration is seizing the opportunity to create the right working environment that will encourage innovation and investment in the sector.
“We will not relent until we achieve the aspiration of our leader President Muhammadu Buhari by seizing the opportunities of AI and Robotics to create jobs for our teeming youth and invest for our future and those of our children.
“We are focused on providing support for viable innovations with socio-economic impact as well as a level playing field for all Nigerians to thrive in. 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.
“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.
“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”, he said.
He called all stakeholders to key into the opportunity the facilities avail to bring about the projected gains of AI and Robotics in the Nigerian technological space.
The NITDA’s AI, Robotics centre is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as Digital Innovation Lab that will serve as a one-stop shop for digital innovation support; Makerspace and Fabrication Lab (Fab Lab) Infrastructure that will support Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurs (IDEs) with their ideas and businesses; Printed Circuit Board Facilities; 3D Printer; Abuja MIT Reap Office; Co-working space for startups and Training facilities.
The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics is aimed at fostering the development of emerging technologies.
The Centre’s activities will focus on preparing Nigeria for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.