The pervasiveness nature of Information Communication Technology could also be deployed and adopted in the sporting industry, Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has said.
According to him, Africans can leverage Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and other Emerging Technologies to create games with African character, culture, and core values because most of the online sporting games are not in accordance with African culture.
The NITDA Director General expressed this view when hosting Ibrahim Musa Gusau, the President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on a working visit to the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.
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Inuwa, while explaining the possibility of creating an eSport / game with indigenous characters, maintained that it is achievable because the Agency can explore the innovation challenge to task the startups to come up with the ideas that could change the way we do things.
He said, “We have trained a lot of people on creativity. Sometimes, we do innovation challenges to challenge people to come up with ideas that will change the way we do things.”
While reiterating that NITDA can challenge the startups to come up with the kind of sport NFF want to develop for the Nigerian market, the NITDA boss assured the Federation that its request on intervention would be looked into.
“And also on your request for intervention, we have some pre-packaged interventions, maybe we can give you one this year and we can explore other options in the future. Let us know your specific requirements so that we build it in our budget and see what we can do together.”
Earlier, the NFF president said he was motivated to visit NITDA to see how the Agency can help in the new area of e-football. “I don’t know whether you have observed in the world of sports, now there is what we call e-sport which is currently booming in the system. We want to be part of the e-football that is now trending all over the world. People have keyed into the program, and we can’t afford not being part of it,” he said.
He stated further that the technical experience of the Agency would be needed to achieve the objectives of the programme.
He said, “We feel that we need people like you because we may need some technical and whatever support for us to achieve what is the desired objective of that programme because it is a technology driven sport.”
He noted that the programme would be run by private individuals but the Federation has to provide a monitoring support and certain facilities for some people to participate, and this informed the visitation. “We need to brief you and see area of assistance in order for us to establish a functional center that will make us to achieve the global objective as far as e-football is concerned.”
He commended the NITDA boss for his exploits, and the support he is giving to the sport industry especially the football angle in his home state of Jigawa, noting that he has been hearing of his support long before he becomes the President of the Federation.