FG Allays Fear of Artificial Intelligence in national security.
* As Security Agencies, Spokespersons, Others Bag 2023 SCA-SAEMA Awards*
The Director General of the federal government owned National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has allayed the fear of artificial intelligence in communication and national security.
Kashifu spoke at the annual security and communication award where the Deputy Comptroller General Immigration in charge of Passport, DCG Sada Hassan, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Customs Service, CSC Abdullahi Maiwada and the Police Spokesperson ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, among others, were honoured.
The event was themed “Artificial Intelligence: Effective Communication for National Security”, with Abdullahi delivering the keynote speech.
Speaking on “Artificial Intelligence: Effective Communication for National Security,” Mal. Kashifu Inuwa maintained that Nigeria can leverage artificial intelligence to enhance its national security for socio-economic growth and human capital development.
He said: “Like other world nations, Nigeria can also harness the potential of the cutting-edge artificial intelligence, aided by effective communication systems, processes and mechanisms, to tackle its insecurity crisis, once and for all.”
He reiterates that the only effective and efficient way to overcome emerging technologies is to acquire in-depth knowledge of the tool, its opportunities and threats.
This, he added, would guide professionals on the right solutions to guarantee their proper functioning based on reliable protocols and ethical principles.
He also explained the rationale behind the release of N225million by the Federal Government to 45 eligible Nigerians to conduct research on Artificial Intelligence.
He said that the federal government is supporting researchers and start-ups to accelerate their research and development efforts.
According to him, the initiative aims to foster a vibrant and sustainable AI ecosystem in Nigeria by providing financial support, facilitating knowledge sharing and collaboration among individuals and organisations in the AI industry.
“We are giving out N5M each for 45 successful AI researchers or start-ups in the following areas among others; Agriculture,
Education and Workforce, Finance,
Governance, Healthcare etc.
He stated that the initiative was a direct response to President Bola Tinubu’s mandate to NITDA to diversify the Nigerian economy through technological innovations.
Highlighting the importance of Artificial Intelligence, the NITDA Director General said there is a global race and any country in the lead with AI will definitely rule the world.
“You can use AI for parenting, trading in stock exchange, military warfare etc. It is the most existential threat to humanity. The fear now is not building a machine that is out of control.
However, Abdullahi stressed that in adopting a policy on Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria, “we must look at it from three principles. We must have red line where AI cannot cross.
He recalled that few weeks ago, “we signed into the International AI Security Development Standard alongside 18 countries.
“Nigeria doesn’t want to take the back seat in digital technological innovations and development.
“We want to put Nigeria among the first leading countries in AI technology, Dr Abdullahi said.
In addition, the Director General disclosed that NITDA has created the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).
Abdullahi said NCAIRs is one of NITDA’s special purpose vehicles created to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in areas of Nigerian national interest.
Earlier in his opening remarks at the annual awards, PRNigeria publisher, Yushau Shuaib hinted that the 2023 Security and Emergency Management Awards (SAEMA) received 171 Entries, while SCA Got 139 for 2023.
Yushau Shuaib who also is the publisher of Economic Confidential, said the 2023 SAEMA, award was in recognition of outstanding gallantry, contributions to safety, security and emergency management in Nigeria by individuals and organizations.
Similarly, Shuaib said the Spokesperson Communication Awards (SCA), 3rd in series, recognized the most outstanding public relations campaigns and communication strategies by professionals, groups and institutions.
Shuaib disclosed that over 50 percent of the entries came from Lagos and Abuja.
“I am happy to inform you, ladies and gentlemen, that SAEMA has so much become a household name among security agencies, stakeholders and experts that we received 171 entries this year out of which we had to work round the clock to come up with two finalists for each of the 16 categories.
“This two-in-one event is hosted in collaboration with the Center for Crisis Communication (CCC), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), the International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) and The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR),” Shuaib said.
“Mr Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, like every year, some of last year’s winners also conquered Africa and the world by winning other laurels.
Three of our last year winners – National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Department of State Security Service (DSS), Kogi State Government, Nigerian Airforce (NAF) won different awards at international fora” Shuaib stated.
Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of awards in various categories to recipients.