Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seen as the Simulations of Human Intelligence Processes like human Capabilities and Capacities in; Problem – Solving, Decision Making by Machines especially Computer Systems.
AI based on researches carried out is believed to have been currently presenting tremendous opportunities leading to breakthrough in all sphere of life. It is indeed one of the major factor and technology transforming segment of global economy.
Furthermore, AI uses specific applications which include Expert systems, Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition, Machine Vision and more.
To this end, Bureau for Information and Communication Technology – BICT Nasarawa State in Collaboration with Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), jointly organized a summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Nasarawa State.
The AI Summit holds 23rd – 25th March, 2022 at Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall, Government House, Shendam Road, Lafia, Nasarawa State.
Speaking in Lafia Professor Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, who was represented by Yau Garba, the Director, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, said research of AI and other emerging technologies was ongoing with researchers in various universities across the country.
He said, “AI is ushering new ways of planning, travelling and working. Its innovative use has been changing lives for the better, creating new jobs and augmenting some existing ones while entirely replacing others. AI is creating opportunities in areas like agriculture, health, logistics and security to mention but a few.
“This summit provides a platform to discuss, promote and adopt AI to ensure rapid national development on emerging technology for the benefit of the nation. The ministry applauds the initiative of the Nigeria Computer Society and we are happy to be part of this programme.
Earlier, Governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Sule, who was represented by his Deputy, Emmanuel Akabe, lauded the initiative of the NCS and appealed to them to assist the government in training residents of the state in a bid to increase their knowledge in the technological innovation.
He said, “Recent research has estimated that Artificial Intelligence is an accelerator for innovation and economic growth. The world today is a global village and it depends largely on Information and Communication Technology.
“We in Nasarawa state want to key in with the dynamics of the changing world so I am appealing that you extend your training to us, particularly on Artificial Intelligence.”
Considering the digitally drive need, the Nasarawa State has embarked on sensitization for more thrust in the area of E-Governance which the state holds so dear and is picking up well which even saw Engineer Governor Abdullahi Sule led administration some few months back winning the Digital Governor Award of the year.
Interestingly, the Nasarawa State Board of Internal Revenue (NSIRS), has hinted on leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), in order to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
According to the State Government, the application of artificial intelligence will help block leakages and prevent human interference in the revenue collection processes of the state.
Thus, the board has already deployed necessary ICT machineries to monitor payment online, real time to encourage compliance with tax payment in the state, among other ICT-driven initiatives.
Speaking at the official commencement of the Summit, Professor Adesina Sodiya, President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), reiterated that AI is reshaping the world and making significant changes in different domains of life.
AI is being implemented across the world to enhance the processes and activities of both public and private organizations.
“Covid-19 has disrupted government and economic activities all over the world. Countries and businesses are now leveraging on emerging technologies for better performance. The focus of this summit is to generally enable, develop and expand Nigeria’s capability in AI. Integrating Artificial Intelligence in government will trigger numerous opportunities such as better policy formulation, efficient decision making, enhanced quality of service, guaranteed citizens’ trust, increased work output and generally promote good government.
“Ai-enabled private sector will boost revenues, remove bottlenecks, ensure smooth planning, increase output, increase market penetration, enhance service delivery, improve customer satisfaction; and increase production output and quality.
“Leveraging on AI will leapfrog economic transformation of any nation. In addition, AI can support and facilitate the realization of the 17 goals and 169 targets recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On the Summit theme: ‘Artificial Intelligent for National Development”, Prof. Sodiya stressed the need for Nigeria to start building indigenous capacities in AI.
“Currently, about 3% of Information Technology in Nigeria are in the areas of AI and robotics. Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has resolved to change the situation by providing enabling environment, technical skills and expertise for the development of AI in Nigeria.
“This summit was smartly structured to promote the adoption of AI in all spheres of life. The summit has seven components, namely Technical Session, Discussion Forum, Workshop, Demonstration, AI Challenge, Exhibition and Master Class for students. You will agree with me that this Summit will make significant impact on participants and Nigeria”, he explained.
He showed encomiums on the Governor of Nasarawa for his government’s continued drive using technology.
“No wonder he became the Nigeria Digital Governor in 2021. I wish to state categorically that we are having this Summit because of the immeasurable supports received from our Digital Governor. We pray for more guardiancies and greater love from the Almighty Allah in your life. We also thank all the members of the Nasarawa State Executive Council for their supports and interest in NCS.
The AI Summit organisers invited eminent Nigerians such as Vice-President Nigeria, Mr. ‘Yemi Osibajo; Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Alli Ibrahim (Pantami); Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Director General, National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi; Executive Vice-Chairman Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umaru Garba Danbatta; and Chairman / Chairman of Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, to discuss how to leverage on AI to improve on the economy.
Resource persons and guests at the summit as: Engr. Yau Isah Garba, Director, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; Dr. Olusola Sayeed Ayoola – Founder, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Nigeria (RAIN); Mr. Umar Zubairu – MD, Flash click & Head of ICT, Pen Resource University Gombe State: Mr. Chris Ighalo, – SmartCity Resorts Plc., Engr. Kemisola Bolarinwa – Founder/CEO, Nextwear Technology, Dr. Chika Yinka-Banjo – Founder, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory (AIROL), University of Lagos; and Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa – Acting Director, NITDA IT Hub (NitHub), the University of Lagos.
NCS AI Summit Gallery: