The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi, has said that emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are going to power the fourth industrial revolution.
He said Nigeria, through NITDA, is investing in the area to become part of the next industrial boom.
Mr Abdullahi said this while delivering a goodwill message at the National Engineering Conference and Annual General Meeting organised by Nigerian Society of Engineers, (NSE), held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.
This year’s conference with the theme: “Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning Opportunities for Sustainable Development” was attended by the creme de la’ creme of engineering profession across the country and beyond.
The director-general, while speaking further, hinted that all the previous industrial revolutions were powered by engineers and now that we are at the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it makes the conference even more timely.
He noted that Africa lost out in the first, second and third industrial revolutions but now it is at the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is going to be powered by Artificial Intelligence, Augmentive Reality and other technologies to change the way of work.
“Emerging technologies such as, artificial intelligence and robotics are changing the way we design, plan and execute engineering projects,” he added.
At NITDA, he said, having this knowledge in mind, the agency is preparing Nigeria to be digital technology inclined, and just last week, the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, commissioned 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 in this world we are creating, a digital world,” he told the participants.
Mr Abdullahi also hinted that the centre is equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities that can help design and produce prototype solutions for the fourth industrial revolution.
He said the agency was 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 fourth industrial revolution.
The president of NSE, Mohammed Babagana, thanked the members of the Organising Committee for a job well done despite the limited time.
He emphasised the importance of engineering in the development of any nation.
“Engineering is development, development is engineering and engineering is life,” he added.