The Federal Government has taken a major step towards promoting indigenous content in the country, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday, between the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Uniccon Group of Companies, aimed at fostering the development and growth of local contents in the Nigerian technology industry.
Under the terms of the MoU, which was signed at the NITDA office in Abuja, NITDA and Uniccon, a company that unveiled Africa’s First Humanoid Robot, Omeife, will collaborate to develop and promote local content in Nigeria through various initiatives, including capacity building, skills development, and the creation of an enabling environment for local content producers and developers.
The partnership will also focus on supporting local startups and SMEs in the technology industry, providing them with access to funding, mentorship, and other forms of support that will enable them to grow and compete on the global scale.
Speaking during the formal agreement signing, the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, who was represented by Head of Legal Unit of the Agency, Barrister Emmanuel Edet, recounted that during the unveiling of “Omeife” in December 2022 by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), had urged NITDA to work with Uniccon Group on ways to commercialise Omeife.
He said: “We plan to have an application that everyone can use to take advantage of Omeife. At NITDA, we have the Learning Management System (LMS) for a long time, and can be integrated into API provided by the Unicorn group, thereby extending our elements to take advantage of it.”
Inuwa stated that leveraging on Omeife (robot) will deepen the penetration of digital literacy across the country, providing platform for shared knowledge in Pidgin, Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. This will provide a framework and platform for exposure of Nigeria’s indigenous content internationally.
“Our greatest dream is to nurture startups and companies that will occupy the global space and also be as competitive as possible for the growth of the economy.
“Digital Economy is a great alternative to oil, which serves as a means of income and an opportunity for us to compete because the entry-level is intellect and we have a lot of that across the country,” the DG asserted.
Chairman/CEO of Uniccon Group of Company, Mr. Chuks Ekweme, during his remarks commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), and the DG of NITDA for the policies and initiatives implemented towards the digital transformation of the country.
He assured that Unicorn Group of Company will support the government towards the actualisation of policies and initiatives, and do their best to contribute their quota towards the implementation drive for the growth of the country.
Ekweme emphasised the importance of the AI project in Africa, stating that statistics show that no African country can boast of having 60% AI by 2030, with most countries falling below this percentage.
Therefore, the signing of the MoU is a crucial step towards bridging this gap and positioning Nigeria as a leader in AI development.
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