The Federal Government may soon establish two new agencies, namely the National Agency for Desertification and Erosion Research (NADER) and the National Agency for Research in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (NARRAI).
Speaking at the inter-ministerial committee for their establishment in Abuja, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said the decision to establish the agencies was reached at the last meeting of National Research and Innovation Council to enable Nigeria achieve effective industrialization.
Onu said robotics and artificial intelligence had become core in the manufacturing industry, healthcare delivery, national security and transportation.
“Nigeria, by our population, by the resources available to our nation, we must be a great nation and to be a great nation, we will not continue to depend on other people to solve our problems. Hence, it is important for us to ensure that no aspect of science or technology is strange to us,” he said.
The minister said government would train Nigerians with competence in relevant fields in order to ensure that the country takes full advantage of robotics and artificial intelligence in infrastructure development, space technology and healthcare delivery.
On the proposed National Agency for Desertification and Erosion Research, he lamented that the menace of desertification had claimed a good part of Northern Nigeria, adding efforts must be made to stem the tide.
He also said erosion had claimed a reasonable portion of lands in the southern part of the country, making it imperative to study the pattern of erosion in different parts of the country in order to find durable solution to the problem.
Onu said the resolutions of the committee of the National Council on Research and Innovation, where the decision in this regard was taken would be tabled before the next meeting of the council.
Membership of the committee was drawn from relevant ministries, departments and agencies including the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Trade and Investment as well as the Ministry of Youths and Sports.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, the chairman and director, Science and Technology Development, Mr Ekanem Udoh, pledged that the committee would turn in an enduring document within the one-month duration it was assigned.
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