By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal government is to establish a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics to engage youths for the emerging challenges in digital Nigeria.
The Centre, when established is also expected to take Nigerian youths a step ahead and make them globally competitive in their ICT carriers.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami disclosed this in his address at the inaugural Digital Nigeria Day in Abuja on Saturday. He informed that the plan was ongoing as he was currently briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the merits for the establishment of the centre.
He also revealed that plans were on top gear to establish the National Policy on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship which is expected to come on stream before the end of the year.
According to him, the policy, when established would enhance industrialisation and entrepreneurship in the country.
Speaking of the achievements of his ministry and its agencies in the last one year, Pantami said the broadband penetration level had risen to 45 % from 30% within a year, indicating unprecedented 10% increase in a year.
“All things being equal, if we keep the pace we are going with, we shall reach 90% in the next five years”, he said.
The Minister further informed that the Digital Nigeria Virtual Academy established to help cushion the effects of COVID-19 lockdown had so far trained a record of 66000 Nigerians youths so far.
On patronage of local ICT products, the minister said the patronage had risen to 500% within a year due to the implementation of the local content policy of the present administration.
On securing the cyberspace, Pantami disclosed the ministry and its agencies in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), were fortifying the nation’s IT security wall. “The details of what exactly we are doing cannot be made public”, he said.
“All things being equal, if we keep the pace we are going with, we shall reach 90% in the next five years”, he added.