NITDA’s boss tasks varsities on preparing citizens for 4th Industrial Revolution

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  • Agency to establish Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has called on stakeholders in the education sector to help prepare Nigerians, especially students, for the fourth industrial revolution.

DG of NITDA, Abdullahi and Vice Chancellor, Sule Lamido University, Prof Taura and management staff of the institution.

Most countries of the world are already preparing for the 4th industrial revolution, which is to be driven by emerging technologies.

Abdullahi observed that global trends and the COVID-19 pandemic have connived to fast track the 4th industrial revolution.

“It has become imperative to increase our level of preparedness and develop capacity in the area of emerging technology,” he said recently in Abuja inside the NITDA headquarters while hosting  the Vice Chancellor, Sule Lamido University, Duste, Jigawa State, Prof Lawal Sani Taura and management staff of the institution.

The university was in Abuja to seek for the agency’s interventions.

 “We need to look at the educational sector and focus more on skills and research that can be used to develop the economy. People should not see education as the end but means to the end. We need to look for ways to disabuse people’s mind on paper qualification and inculcate in them those skills required for the imminent industrial revolution and also focus more on science and technology,” Abdullahi added.    

While citing some scholarly research from Microsoft, he noted that researches have shown that by 2030, 800 million jobs would be lost unless people up-skill and re-skill and 149 million new jobs would be created through Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies.  

The NITDA’s boss who was fascinated about the progress the school has made in agriculture, ICT, innovations and entrepreneurship, said he saw potential that can facilitate the nation’s drive to digital economy in those courses.

“We are already in partnership with the Jigawa state government on digital transformation and smart initiatives. We can also partner with you to do some research for us on how we can enhance these projects we are doing.”

He said Jigawa state’s agricultural contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) of the country was encouraging which underscore why the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) was piloted in the state.

He said NITDA and the university could further explore NAVSA and its application by farmers.

“The best way we can partner is in agriculture and ICT innovations and entrepreneurship,” he added.”

Earlier, Prof Taura had asked the agency to support the university as it commences its 2020/2021 academic session.  His words: “We are introducing new courses. We need these interventions and any other gesture we can get from the agency would be appreciated.”     

Prof Taura thanked the agency for previously donating 120 computers to the school.

Meanwhile, the agency has announced plans to establish a Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics as part of drive to achieve a robust digital economy.

Abdullahi revealed this while receiving inside the NITDA, delegates from Nile University led by the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Osman Nuri Aras.

Abdullahi said that it was important to strengthen the existing relationship with the institution so that “there can be custom made courses to prepare us for future work.”

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