The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has pledged the federal government’s continued commitment to supporting startups in the country with necessary resources and initiatives in advancing the research of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the country.
NITDA’s Director General, Kashifu Inuwa made this known at the Innovate Nigeria 2024 Conference & Expo which was held Lagos at the weekend.
Inuwa who was represented by the Agency’s Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy Department, Dr Aristotle Onumo said the US and China had allocated significant funds for AI research through their recognition of its innovation drive and economic growth potential, adding that Nigeria is following the same path.
The DG underscored the positive correlation between government investment and advancements in AI, highlighting its projected market value surpassing $190 billion by 2025.
While speaking on the Nigerian government’s contributions to AI research, Inuwa outlined key initiatives which include direct investment in research and development, establishment of collaborative ecosystems, formulation of policies and regulations, fostering international collaboration and supporting education and workforce development.
He emphatically stated that these contributions directly align with the government’s 8-point agenda, particularly emphasising the importance of creating an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.
“It may interest the audience to note that the 8-point agenda of the present administration aptly captures the requirements of the government in terms of what needs to be done”, he said.
“The 7th agenda which is Accelerating Diversification through Industrialisation, Digitisation, Creative Arts, Manufacturing and Innovation resonates with the specific role of government in AI research upon which democratisation of digital service to create more economic value anchors”, he mentioned.
Inuwa further elucidated on NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan which aims to elevate the country’s AI research ranking and foster digital literacy and talent development.