The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has said the diversification of the nation’s economy, would not only alleviate poverty but also create prosperity by designing high-value market chain for local production.
Speaking at the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) Office, Wuye, Abuja, where he hosted delegates from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdullahi Bala, he noted that most of the developed and wealthy nations do not depend on their natural resources but on creative innovations.
He observed that technological ecosystem comprises the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), which grow linearly, and the Innovative Driven Enterprises (IDEs), which grow exponentially and have a broader market, adding that innovation is the best mechanism in creating prosperity.
Abdullahi also said the creation of an ICT hub for universities in all the geo-political zones, including the Federal University of Technology, Minna, was in line with the NCAIR’s mandate of collaborating with universities in empowering youths.
He said: “Graduates are unemployable these days because all they know is a theory, and will always need additional training upon employment. But exposing them to these technology advancements will broaden their knowledge, and give them the opportunity to conceptualize their ideas.”
He explained that minimal capital is needed to be a part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is the purpose of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Centre, to devise ways in which fundamental technology can be used to solve problems and create prosperity.
Abdullahi expressed his delight at the university’s intention to seek more collaboration, a synergy he described as strategic in sustaining a digital economy, preparing the students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, boosting industrialization as a whole to move the country forward.
Earlier, Professor Bala explained that the purpose of the visit was to thank the agency for its intervention in the IT Hub of the university, which has been inaugurated.
He said it is also meant to leverage the cordial relationship between the Agency and the University in exploring more collaborative opportunities for productive interactions in research, innovation and development in emerging technologies.
He assured that the University has scaled its capacity to further collaborate and complement the efforts of NITDA by creating an International Centre for Emerging Technology, in collaboration with the NCAIR, which he believes will focus on areas of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, capacity building, research and development.
Bala equally assured that the University has all it takes to train NITDA scholars in postgraduate studies, and admonished them to come occasionally as visiting lecturers to interact with their students.
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