Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has again reiterated the Agency’s continued co-creation of ideas and solutions with the private sector.
Inuwa was speaking during the last meeting of the National Artificial Intelligence Policy (NAIP) Volunteer Expert Group (VEG) on Tuesday, March 7 2023.
He expressed a heartfelt gratitude for the Volunteers’ exceptional work in developing the National Artificial Intelligence Policy for Nigeria.
“At NITDA, co-creation is at the heart of everything we do. We strongly believe that there are things we can do as a government you cannot do as an ecosystem, and there are things you can do as an ecosystem and we cannot do as a government, but together we can achieve greater things.
“That is why we initiated the process of developing this policy using you as VEG, and your commitment has been instrumental in achieving this goal.
“As we all know, artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize our world, transform industries, and even save lives by curing terminal diseases and reversing genetic disorders. However, it also poses significant risks, such as bias, privacy violations, and job displacement. That is why it is essential to have policies in place to guide its development and deployment in Nigeria”, Inuwa said.
The pre-development process led to the formation of the VEG expert group.
“On 11th August, 2022, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) issued a call for expressions of interest to participate in the policy development process. We received an overwhelming response from subject matter experts in Nigeria and abroad. Based on this call, we selected sixty-three experts to form the Volunteer Expert Group (VEG) from the three hundred and fifty-one applications received.
“I am aware that you (VEG) have been incredibly committed and dedicated to this task, from the first meeting held on 19th October, 2022, where the group was inaugurated and seven thematic clusters were formed, to the final meeting held today, 7th March 2023. I am aware you held over eight virtual meetings and several sub-meetings outside the general meetings to enable you to deliver on the task within the agreed timeline.
“Your commitment has been instrumental in developing this robust draft policy covering seven major areas. Firstly, Education and Research; secondly, Finance; thirdly, Health; fourthly, Media and Telecommunications; fifthly, Labour and Productivity; sixthly, General and Special Issues (such as building safe and responsible AI, ensuring Nigerian culture and values are digitally visible); and lastly, but not the list, Security. I must applaud your outstanding work ethic and professionalism in developing this policy. The dedication and hard work exhibited by each of you have been remarkable, and I cannot thank you enough.
“At NITDA, we strongly believe in partnerships that bring together diverse expertise and perspectives to achieve common goals. Your voluntary work has helped us develop a National Artificial Intelligence Policy for Nigeria that will guide the development and deployment of AI in the country, positioning us to create and capture value from AI adoption while avoiding its perils.
“The NITDA Secretariat will now take over and continue working on the document’s design to get it ready for publication. We are short of words to express our appreciation, but we have drafted commendation letters which will be sent out to each member of the VEG latest by next week. Henceforth we consider you (the whole VEG) part of the NITDA family, and we look forward to more partnerships in the future”, he said.
The NITDA boss congratulated them for a job well done in carrying out and seeing this national assignment to fruition.
“Your voluntary work has helped us develop a National Artificial Intelligence Policy for Nigeria that will guide the development and deployment of AI in the country, positioning us to create and capture value from AI adoption while avoiding its perils. At NITDA, we are proud to work with individuals and organizations that share our vision for a prosperous, inclusive, and technology-driven Nigeria”, he commended the VEG expert group.