The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has urged the Nigerian Institute of Information and Communication Technology Engineers (NIICTE) to provide mentoring support for the interns, start-ups and innovators carrying out innovative ideas at the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).
The director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, made this call when he received top executive members of NIICTE, a division of Nigerian Society of Engineers, (NSE) at the NCAIR office, Abuja.
Represented by the NCAIR national director, Engr. Ya’u Garba Isa, Abdullahi explained that the centre was focusing on developing the capacity of youths on emerging technologies in the areas of research and development on emerging technologies, capacity building, entrepreneurship, collaboration and partnership.
“We have so many programmes that we are passionate about. This centre would be happy to always have you around to mentor our interns and innovators. The focus of the centre is to promote hands-on solutions we can apply to solve our national challenges such as insecurity, education, health and the rest. At present, we are working on smart agricultural farming that can help our farmers to improve the yields of their produce,” he said.
He pointed out that NITDA would keep supporting startups and innovators in order to keep promoting ideas from conceptualisation to commercialization, adding with the calibre of people in positions of authority now in the ICT industry, the sector would soon hit a breakthrough in no distance time.
Earlier, in his remarks, the president of the institute, Engr. Austin Nwaulunne, said the institute had watched with kin interest the giant strides NITDA had recorded in recent time.
He listed the achievements that are novel to them to include the world class National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, creation of digital jobs, award of scholarships, creation of virtual libraries and e-learning facilities among others.
“The institute decided to approach NITDA because the agency is one of our principals for success of the division. We therefore implore you, our principal, to kindly accord the requisite support to our members in your organisation. Our success is the success of the sector where our members operate and ultimately impact on the sector’s advancements,” he added.
According to him, the institute is a nonprofit and non-governmental organisation with the mandate to promote and enhance the practice and learning of ICT engineering in Nigeria in accordance with the objectives of the institute as well as its group dynamic responsibilities as a specialised division of NSE.
Nwaulunne, who is also the director, digital economy department at Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also called on the agency to provide support for its planned programmes such as organization of conferences, workshops and seminars to enable it meet the requirement of NSE, saying that such supports would be very much appreciated.
A statement obtained from NITDA’s website said the highlight of the visitation was the touring of the facilities at the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.