Artificial Intelligence will enhance citizen engagement and participation – DG NASRDA

…Commends NACETEM’s foresight for holding policy dialogue on artificial intelligence

By Chris udochukwu

The Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Halilu Ahmad Shaba has stated that Artificial Intelligence (AI), will play a crucial role in enhancing citizen engagement and participation.

This is also as he has commended the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) for the foresight to organise a policy dialogue especially on the important topic of Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector.

Precise Post recalls that the Dr Shaba gave the commendation on Monday at the occasion of the Policy Dialogue with the theme: Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector: Opportunities, Risks and Challenges in Nigeria organised by NACETEM in Abuja.

The Director General, who was represented by Mr. John Nwagwu, noted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a game-changer in the public sector, revolutionizing the way government and public institutions operate. Through its advanced algorithms and data analysis capabilities, AI is enhancing decision-making, streamlining processes, and improving the overall delivery of public services. Its potential to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation is transforming the public sector landscape, ultimately benefiting citizens and society as a whole.

“AI is transforming the way government and public institutions operate, enabling them to deliver more efficient and effective services to citizens. From streamlining administrative processes to enhancing decision-making, AI has proven to be a valuable tool in shaping a better future for all.”

According to the DG, one of the key advantages of AI in the public sector is its ability to analyze vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. This will significantly improve the quality of public services, such as healthcare, transportation, and education. AI-powered systems can detect patterns, identify trends, and make predictions, allowing policymakers to make informed decisions and allocate resources more effectively.

Furthermore, Chatbots and virtual assistants will become increasingly common, providing citizens with instant access to information and support. This will not only improve the overall citizen experience but also free up valuable time for public sector employees to focus on more complex tasks.

In addition, AI has proven to be instrumental in addressing societal challenges, such as public safety and environmental sustainability. Smart surveillance systems powered by AI algorithms can help detect and prevent crimes, while AI-driven models can analyze environmental data to support decision-making in mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable development.

As we celebrate the positive impact of AI in the public sector, it is important to acknowledge the importance of responsible and ethical AI implementation. Safeguards must be in place to ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in the use of AI technologies, prioritizing the well-being and privacy of citizens.

The DG also hinted thst AI has become an invaluable asset in the public sector, revolutionizing the way government and public institutions operate. Adding that it is our collective responsibility to embrace and leverage AI’s potential to create a more inclusive, efficient, and sustainable future for all.

Dr. Shaba therefore urged all to continue to explore innovative ways to harness the power of AI, ensuring that it remains a force for good in the public sector. Together, we can build a brighter and more prosperous tomorrow.

Earlier in his remarks, the Director General of NACETEM Dr. Olusola Odunsanya said NACETEM has gathered experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence to dialogue on the first steps Nigeria will take in developing a framework for the use of A.I in national development.

He said that while the framework is being developed, the government will begin to take steps on regulation that will eventually lead to the evolution of an aggregation of those extant rules that we already have that guide the role of technology and that because we have not focused on this powerful technology sufficiently, that is why NACETEM has taken it upon itself to make sure that NACETEM begin to set the pace for the dialogue.

While speaking on the topic; “Building AI readiness and capacity in the public sector,” Mr. Chinedu Ogbiede noted that AI has come to the world and it has changed the face of the entire world.

He stressed that it is so important that the public sector in Nigeria and everybody in Nigeria lash into this new trend called AI; it is the way to go and it is going to enhance how we work and how we interract as well as enhance our productivity as a nation.

Also in his keynote address, the Vice Chancellor, Summit University Offa, Kwara State, Prof Abiodun Musa Iyibenu said now we will be looking at knowledge economy, innovation and invention not just about certification; we should be talking about education and not certification.

Precise Post further recalls thst in attendance at the public dialogue are representatives of: the NIPSS, Head of Service of the Federation, SGF, Minister of Trade and Investment, NASRDA, DSS and other MDAs.

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