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FG Finalises Policy On AI, Commends Volunteers For Contributions

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The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi.
The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi.

The Nigerian government through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is set to roll out the National Policy on Artificial Intelligence, having completed the first draft. The policy aims to guide the development and deployment of AI in Nigeria, taking into consideration potential risks such as bias, privacy violation, as well as job displacement.

The draft copy was co-created by a team from NITDA and 63 industry experts drawn from 351 volunteers’ applications received from Nigeria and abroad.

The NITDA’s director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, commended the group for its “exceptional work in developing the policy for Nigeria” during the final virtual meeting of the volunteer group.

Abdullahi stressed the potential of AI to revolutionise the world, transform industries and save lives, but also highlighted the risks associated with it. He outlined seven major areas covered by the policy, including education and research, finance, health, media and telecommunications, labour and productivity, general and special issues and security.

An implementation strategic plan will be drafted to ensure the policy achieves its intended purpose. The NITDA will socialise with its stakeholders and send the policy to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The head of NITDA’s legal unit, Emmanuel Edet noted that NITDA adopted the co-creation model in developing the policy to create a functional and effective policy that promotes the digital economy sector.

Abdullahi assured the volunteer experts that a letter of commendation would be sent to them, acknowledging their commitment and dedication to drafting the policy.

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