In a recent twist of events, Nigeria’s National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) finds itself at the center of a heated debate between former and current ministers. The controversy erupted when former minister Prof. Isa Ali Pantami voiced his discontent over the NCAIR relaunch, claiming that its legacy had already been established since its commissioning in November 2020.

    However, the current Minister of Communication, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, defends the relaunch of NCAIR Relaunch, emphasizing the need to bolster NCAIR’s capacity for AI research and application. Dr. Tijani outlined several new initiatives introduced to support the relaunch, including increased virtual CPU access, expanded storage capacity, and the establishment of a dedicated research lab for state and enterprise AI projects.

    Among the key initiatives is NCAIR’s role in managing the new computing infrastructure for projects of national importance and academic research. Additionally, NCAIR aims to foster collaboration by allowing AI hubs and pods across the country to remotely connect to the enhanced computing infrastructure.

    Furthermore, Dr. Tijani highlights a significant shift in transparency and accountability, with NCAIR committing to report and academically publish on all projects conducted at the institution. Expressing gratitude to partners for their support, Dr. Tijani invites stakeholders to join the newly revitalized Nigeria AI Collective, housed at NCAIR, to contribute to the country’s AI ecosystem.

    As the debate over NCAIR relaunch continues, it underscores the complexities of balancing legacy and innovation in Nigeria’s pursuit of AI excellence. With stakeholders closely monitoring developments, the relaunch of NCAIR promises to shape the future trajectory of AI research and application in the country.

    For those interested in contributing to Nigeria’s AI journey, joining the Nigeria AI Collective at NCAIR provides a platform for collaboration and innovation in this dynamic field.