Through the office of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the federal government has reiterated its support for starting startups in the country with necessary resources and initiatives to advance the research of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the country.
Saying the support is part of efforts in implementing the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s (GCFR) Renewed Hope Agenda of accelerating diversification through industrialization and digitization, the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa said support for startups is the case with US and China, which have allocated significant funds for AI research through their recognition of its innovation drive and economic growth potential.
“There could not have been any better time to hold such a conference than now when the rapid acceleration of Artificial Intelligence presents an intriguing paradox, as its seemingly limitless potential promises to revolutionize every facet of life”, Inuwa who was represented by the Agency’s Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy Department, Dr. Aristotle Onumo at the Innovate Nigeria 2024 Conference & Expo assured.
He 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, including 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 stated that these contributions directly align with the government’s 8-point agenda, particularly emphasizing 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”.
“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 democratization 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.