Isa Pantami criticizes Bosun Tijani for Robotics Centre relaunch

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, criticized his successor, Bosun Tijani, for relaunching the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

NCAIR was established as a platform to promote research and development in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, UAV, and the Internet of Things, focusing on Nigerian national interests.

Tijani, with support from Cisco, announced the center’s relaunch, emphasizing its enhanced capacity. However, Pantami disputed the move, claiming that the NCAIR was built and commissioned in November 2020 during his tenure.

He stressed that the center had been effective in training thousands of Nigerians, asserting that achievements should be earned, not merely claimed.

In response, Minister Tijani elaborated on the advancements and objectives of the “new and improved” NCAIR. He outlined initiatives to strengthen AI research, support local researchers and startups, and enhance AI applications in government.

These initiatives include providing NCAIR with access to virtual CPUs, connecting it to 1 petabyte of storage at GBB, and instituting processes for reporting and academic publishing.

Additionally, Tijani announced outcomes from the Ministry’s National AI Workshop, such as the launch of Nigeria’s first Multilingual Large Language Model.

He also highlighted partnerships to accelerate AI project development, including collaborations with 21st Century Technologies, Galaxy Backbone, and NCAIR Nigeria.

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