The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has identified emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics as key components that would power the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
He said this while delivering a goodwill message at the national engineering conference and annual general meeting with the theme, “Engineering education and lifelong learning opportunities for sustainable development,” organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in Abuja.
Abdullahi hinted that all previous industrial revolutions were powered by engineers, saying the conference was apt as it came at the verge of the fourth industrial revolution.
He noted that Africa, as a continent, lost out in the first, second and third industrial revolutions but it adequately preparing for the 4IR which is going to be powered by Artificial Intelligence, Augmentive Reality and other technologies to change the way people work.
“Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics are changing the way we design, plan and execute engineering projects,” he stated.
According to him, having this knowledge in mind, the agency is preparing Nigeria to be digital technology inclined, adding, that just last week, the minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, commissioned the first National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Nigeria which was built by NITDA.
“This is the right time for you to learn how these new technologies are going to help you excel and thrive because we are creating a digital world,” he added.
Abdullahi also hinted the centre is equipped with the state of the art facilities that can help design and produce prototype solutions for the fourth industrial revolution, and as such the agency is looking forward to receiving a communique from the conference to see how it can work together and build innovation ecosystem in Nigeria and prepare the country for the oncoming revolution.
Earlier in his remarks, the NSE president, Engr. Mohammed Babagana, appreciated the members of the organising committee for a job well done in spite of the limited time, even as he emphasized the importance of engineering in the development of any nation.
“Engineering is development, development is engineering, and engineering is life”, he added.