Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the biggest and premier professional association in Nigeria’s tech sector, has announced Nasarawa as the host State for its first ever Artificial Intelligence Summit, TechEconomy.ng can report.
NCS is the umbrella body for all Information Technology Practitioners, Interest Groups and Stakeholders in Nigeria.
Currently with over twenty thousand highly skillful and committed members in both private and public sectors, NCS remains at the centre console of IT development in Nigeria.
Speaking during a press conference where the AI Summit was announced, Professor Adesina Sodiya, President of NCS, said the programme holding from Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th of March 2022 at Aliyu Akwe-Doma Banquet hall, Lafia, Nassarawa State capital, falls under one of the major objectives of NCS which is ‘to promote IT adoption and rapid national development using emerging technologies’.
He said, “NCS is ever committed to vigorously pursue this objective for the benefit of our nation”.
Sodiya said that artificial intelligence as involves the development of digital systems and technologies that mimic human capabilities and capacities in problem-solving and decision-making, has become a prime technology today.
Artificial intelligence, he said, is currently presenting tremendous opportunities, leading to breakthroughs in all spheres of live. Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming every segment of global economy.
“It is expected that AI will profoundly reshape the social and economic landscape of our nation, and it will definitively spark innovations and foster creative solutions in fields such as agriculture, medicine, transportation, finance, education, and so on”.
“Individuals, corporate organisations and governments must embrace AI opportunities for competitive advantage and rapid national development”.
The NCS President added that AI has new set of tools that are currently revolutionising the whole world hence Nigeria needs to give the required attention to it for effective transformation to digital economy and efficient business operations.
“AI is an accelerator for innovation and has the power to bring big changes to Nigeria.
Recent research has estimated Artificial Intelligence to provide several trillions of dollars of global economic growth and Nigeria must benefit immensely from this.
“However, the development and adoption of Artificial Intelligent technology is still at low pace in Nigeria. One of the major goals of NCS is to promote all areas of Information Technology and initiated this summit to lead AI development in Nigeria”.
Objectives of the NCS Artificial Intelligence Summit:
Speaking further, Sodiya said the Artificial Intelligence Summit provides a platform for gathering of BigTech, Start-ups, Investors and relevant organisations.
“It creates opportunity to leverage on global advances in AI for national development. Network with international organization on AI development. It is a platform for increasing AI adoption in public and private organisations; development of talents in AI; showcasing indigenous skills in AI; promote AI education and research, amongst other objectives.
“Most notable about the summit are the unparalleled opportunities for self-development, networking, partnership, recognition, and advocacy opportunities. It is hard to find any summit that will provide you with the unique one-to-one interaction and networking experiences in artificial intelligence.
“Participants should look forward to amazing opportunities to exchange new ideas in AI, gain new insights, build relationships with stakeholders, promote IT professionalism, share best practices, establish standards, develop business or research relations, and find global partners for future collaborations. Manufacturers, industry experts. academics, professionals, innovators, service providers, researchers, suppliers, consultants, students, youth innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as policy makers in government and business people will come together to connect for the betterment of our nation.
“It is going to be a platform for robust interactions with AI experts across the globe”, he promised.
Confirmed Dignitaries are:
- Yemi Osibajo, Vice President, Fed. Republic of Nigeria
- Sule Abdulahi, Executive Governor, Nasarawa State
- Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Hon. Minister of Communication and Digital Economy
- Oghonaya Onu, Hon. Minister of Science and Technology
- States Governors
- Inuwa Kachifu, DG NITDA
- Umar Danbatta – Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
Dr. Muhammad Sirajo Aliyu, the Deputy President of NCS, disclosed that the Society plans to make the Summit an annual event “due to the critical nature of AI in today’s economy. So, we need to remind ourselves and create awareness for more people to be converted into the AI ecosystem”.
In his comment, Dr. Charles Onyeukwu, Chairman, Ethics Committee of NCS, emphasised the need to get down to the roots of AI and get things done.
”Other economies are demonstrating the potential of AI. We cannot be left behind”, he said. “But it demands a lot of partnership among stakeholders. AI is practical driven not rhetoric and we have to brace ourselves for the coming 5th industrial revolution driven by emerging technologies.”
Mrs. Shulammite Ilebiyi, NCS’ Chairperson, Audits Committee, said: “It is something dear to my heart. Nigeria must notplay catch-upon AI related matters.
”Dubai is stimulating the rainusing AI, others have leapfrogged agriculture; Smart cities are springing up everyday. We have to turnaroundthe challenges COVID-19 brought to address some of our key issues like in the health sector.
”There is a need for more grants to enable startups to bring some of these AI results to Nigeria”, she pleaded.
On her part, Dr Florence Babalola, chairperson, Education and Manpower Development Committee of NCS, said the Summit falls in line with the Society’s continued advocacy for digitalisation in the country “and having this Summit in North Central is a means to send message that IT should give us an edge in tackling insecurity”.
Meanwhile, Prof. Awodele Oludele, Chairman, Credentials Committee of the Society, called for a departure from actions that lead to brain drain.
In his words: “This AI Summit is one of the the best ways to leverage the brains we have in Nigeria. We cannot continue to export good brains and import finished products.”
”We need to develop more AI laboratories to train and retrain”, he added
The press conference which had Dr. Stanley Adiele Okolie, Ex-officio South East, NCS, was moderated by Engineer Iyiola Ayoola, Executive Secretary of NCS who encouraged members of the Society to register for the Summit.
“NCS is looking forward to having a first ever Artificial Intelligent summit in Nigeria, in collaboration with Nasarawa State government. NCS is determined to have an impactful and fulfilled summit. We are sure that this summit will significantly transform Nasarawa State and Nigeria at Large into a more prosperous State.
“Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) remains committed to IT Development in Nigeria, and one of its major goals is to develop strategies for solving all challenges associated with the reliable deployment of Information Technology in our nation”, Ayoola said.