Nigeria’s tech agency pushes for AI integration for enhanced security

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In a bid to enhance Nigeria’s digital initiatives and global presence, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has advocated incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into Nigeria’s security framework to improve outcomes. 

In a closed-door meeting shared with Cointelegraph, the agency’s director-general, Kashifu Inuwa, discussed this with the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) commandant, Alhaji A.S. Adeleke, who was represented by deputy commandant D. E. Egbeji.

Inuwa emphasized the distinct methods the security and information technology (IT) sectors employ in their duties. He stressed that the security and IT sectors can work together to use technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) for the security sector’s improvement.

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Director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi. 

Inuwa expressed the NITDA’s willingness to form meaningful partnerships, highlighting that working together in the IT and security sectors aligns with the NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2.0). This is particularly relevant to the pillar that emphasizes building strategic partnerships and collaborations.

In November 2023, the NITDA advocated for collaboration between the NITDA, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and financial institutions. The agency emphasized leveraging emerging technologies, such as AI and data analytics, to deepen digital payments.

Exploring AI further, Inuwa pointed out that AI is a worldwide driving force. He clarified misunderstandings and emphasized their role in making tasks more manageable, delivering quick responses and offering solutions.

Related: How Nigeria stepped up its AI game in 2023

In response to the talks, NISS commandant Adeleke expressed the institute’s keenness to learn from NITDA’s experiences. Adeleke said the goal of the NISS is to gain valuable insights for an executive brief for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, aiming to aid in policy development and implementation. He said:

“We are here to benefit from your experience and to gather all that we can from the beginning of the course. By the end, we aim to deliver an executive brief to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR that will facilitate policy formulation and implementation.”

The NITDA is fostering AI growth in Nigeria through initiatives like the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) and the development of the National Artificial Intelligence Policy.

In October, the Nigerian government announced grants of 5 million naira ($6,444) to 45 AI-focused startups and researchers. This initiative is part of the recently introduced Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme, designed to facilitate the widespread utilization of AI to drive economic advancement.

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