FG Urges Experts To Develop Implementable AI Strategy For Economic Growth


By Stella Enenche, Abuja

The Federal government has called on Experts to come up with Implementable Artificial Intelligence ( AI) strategy that would grow the economy and shapen the nation’s global future.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani made the call at the ongoing National Artificial Intelligence Strategy Co-Creation Workshop, according to a statement made available by Head, Press and Public Relations Unit,Kania Andeyaba on Wednesday in Abuja.

Tijani said, the scope of AI technology has a great depth and far-reaching capacity because it provides the opportunity for re-emerging nearly all things that border on our national life.

“We are part of the people that are blessed with advanced digital technology that truly represents the connectivity of humanity we have been dreaming of,” he said .

According to the minister, the application of AI transforms every facet of governance whether it is in communication, entrepreneurship, agriculture, public health, education and virtually in all sectors of the economy and engenders a national prosperity and development as it is obtainable in other developed economies.

Dr. Bosun called on all the participants to note that it is their responsibilities as members of this generation to ensure they are not just partakers in the use of AI technology but that, they actually participate in the shaping of its development as well.

He therefore called on them to ensure they contribute to the technology by participating actively with the view to shaping the future of AI development in Nigeria.

“Our position is to ensure that our voices are represented in the development of this technology in a global group.

“I want to remind us that we are not far behind, the USA has its own perspectives on how the AI is to be developed and regulated; the Europeans have their approach on how the AI is to be developed and regulated and the Asians too have many approaches on how it should be developed and regulated”, the minister stressed.

The minister stated that there is nowhere in the world that AI is going to be based on divergence because till now, countries are still grounded consequent upon working in silos.

He however said that in the next 24 to 25 years, there will be a convergence but said “do we need to wait until that convergence?” he asked.

“I am challenging everyone not to be focused only on AI Strategy that is limited to Nigeria nor the continent of Africa, but our focus will be on what a good AI will be for the global space”.

He also called on the participants to show leadership globally that the world should be convergent with AI and not divergent.

In another development, Dr.Bosun reminded the Nigerian experts that for any technology that has the potential to influence what they think, how they think and what they do, there must be a technology that will raise the level of productivity significantly for the society.

He called on them to different and further challenged them to think local, and at the same time think globally for the progress of Nigeria as a country and Africa in general.

“Build a new way of AI that is for the entire world”, he added. He appreciated all the agencies under the ministry, the AI Buds participants, Luminate, Google, Meta, Microsoft, UNESCO and UNDP as co-sponsors of the four-day Workshop.

In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Engr. Faruk Yabo said AI has transformative potential for the country.

He said “we are laying foundation for a future where AI is integral to every aspect of Nigerian life”. He urged the participants to approach the task of developing an implementable strategy with a mindset focused on practicality.

He called on them to bear in mind that as they undertake this noble task, they should take cognizance of the country’s cultural values, traditional norms and other specific needs for national security and sovereignty.

Engr. Yabo hinted that the purpose of the workshop is for shaping the future of AI in Nigeria with the aim of redefining, refocusing and directing Nigeria and Africa to take its rightful position among the comity of technologically advanced nations of the world.

Also in his remarks, the DG of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa said AI is a cross-cutting and generic technology that can be applied everywhere.

He further said according to World Economic Forum, AI will add 15.7trn to global economy by 2030; according to Mackenzy, Gen AI can add $4.4trn to the global economy annually, and besides the aforementioned, he believes that Nigeria can achieve economic diversification, national security and increase productivity by developing a robust AI national strategy.

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