The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) through its National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) is set to collaborate with the Nigeria Army to manufacture military equipment locally, to tackle insecurity in the country.
The NCAIR director, Engr. Ya’u Isa, made this known when he received the rector, Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology (NACEST), Markudi, Benue State, Brig. Gen. Yahaya Abdulhamid in his office in Abuja.
He said the agency, through the partnership, aims to provide first-hand intelligence gathering to the nation’s security architecture, using technology and digital-driven methods aimed at bringing an end to the incessant security threats in the country.
Isa, while welcoming his guests, said NCAIR remained one of NITDA’s key drivers, established primarily to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in areas of national interest.
“Collaboration with the military will open huge opportunities for the centre to explore local manufacturing of military hardware that will be used in fighting criminal elements.”
He informed his audience that the NCAIR as digital innovation and research facility, is focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and drones, internet of things (IoT) and other emerging technologies that can be deployed to a mission area to provide intelligence which, he said, can be manufactured at a low cost.
Isa added that the centre was considering the possibility of producing what it termed ‘digital grenade’ that can be used with ‘wireless censored network’ and can be utilised in detecting vital information in the field during operations.
“NCAIR focuses on creating a thriving ecosystem for innovation-driven entrepreneurship IDE, job creation and national development”, he explained.
Isa then assured the management of the Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology of his office’s unflinching support towards the realisation of the mutual collaboration that would bring about a suitable environment for discovering and harnessing the abundant creative ideas of Nigeria’s teeming youths through the promotion of innovative technologies.
Earlier, Abdulhamid said the idea to partner with the NITDA was borne from observing the serious impact the agency has had in emerging technologies.
NITDA, as the nation’s apex IT regulatory body, is capable of enhancing the ability of the students of the Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology in areas of innovation, digital literacy and skills’ acquisition of modern technology.
He emphasised that his students are eager to learn various innovative ideas to align with the present reality for the overall development of the country.
Abdulhamid described innovation as key to the attainment of any meaningful development. He called on NCAIR to fast-track the process of incorporating NACEST into its plan.
“These are the things that you must embrace to achieve national security and development, as it is not an adventurous thing, but a necessity,” he added.
The NACEST entourage was conducted round the NCAIR’s innovation laboratory and fabrication laboratory (FabLab), 3D Printer and printed circuit facilities.