Nigerian Lawmaker Secure Funds for AI Program ‘RAIN’ in Ibadan

Nigerian Lawmaker Secure Funds for AI Program ‘RAIN’ in Ibadan

A Federal Lawmaker, Rt Hon. Oluyemi Taiwo Representing Ibarapa East/ Ido Federal Constituency, Oyo State has Secured FG Intervention Funding for Ibadan Based AI Robotics Facility This giant stride was made by Rt Hon Oluyemi, after the world was thrown into frenzy after a US based AI firm, OpenAI released a groundbreaking solution called “chatGPT” which could converse, reply text messages sent by humans and answer almost any question as accurately as if it were human itself and all-knowing.

This solution proves to have the capacity to write news articles, public speeches, academic papers, computer codes and can go as far as discussing matters relating to your local traditional recipes. Today, unlike a decade ago, countries are now competing fiercely towards attaining AI supremacy. As the world is moving around Technology advancement, AI, Robotics, Blockchain and Cybersecurity have a huge impact on national security, intelligence, healthcare and food security. Technology has proven its impact in the world especially the war in Ukraine where AI and Robotics, especially drone technology and compute vision and warfare intelligence.

With fast advances in technology, there is no doubt that the next decade presents an opportunity for countries to redefine their future, improve on the quality of life, healthcare and availability of jobs through the needed up-skilling of their workforce and re-modeling of their industries. Deviating from an age-long Nigerian tradition of simply waiting to import and consume any latest technology in the world rather than contribute to its development, the nation is lucky to have some leaders that are keeping tabs on global developments and are guarding the coast keenly.

For example, in 2019, a young Nigerian, Olusola Ayoola after bagging his Ph.D in the area of Nuclear Robotics and working extensively with UK’s government decided to return home to establish Nigeria’s first fully functional Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Facility for training, research and product development. Since its establishment, RAIN has proven to be world class and has even attracted international students and recognitions from the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Ms Amina J. Mohammed, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USA and Canada missions in Nigeria, as well as First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), the National institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE), the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).

Some of the groundbreaking research carried out at RAIN include unattended baggage detection, mini weather station, AI based Traffic Light System, a ground robot vehicle and unmanned VTOL aerial vehicle (IMORP), CETHED and RAINSC75/76. The great feat which RAIN has achieved without any support from Government and this fact only makes one want to ask what an intervention grant will do to the growth of technology in Nigeria. With these development, the Federal Lawmaker, Rt Hon. Oluyemi Taiwo Representing Ibarapa East/ Ido Federal Constituency, Oyo State moved a motion for the house to encourage the federal government to liaise and work with RAIN especially during the course of tackling the insecurity.

 

The house unanimously adopted the motion and passed a resolution in support. However honorable Oluyemi Adewale Taiwo ensures a follow up with the ministry of science, technology and innovation until it was successfully granted. This is a confirmation of his stewardship to his constituency. However, the nation could do with more of his kind that will direct the federal government’s attention to burgeoning areas within the economy that can help return this nation to the path of greatness. No doubt, with this intervention grant, being well managed by the tested and proven management of the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Nigeria board, the nation can only expect to move upwards from this point onward. Reacting to this, The Chief Executive of RAIN, Dr Ayoola has confirmed that there are lofty plans in place including the construction of a Centre for Excellence in Drone and Unmanned Vehicles for Geospatial Intelligence, provision of training scholarships to the youths of Nigeria, particularly those from Ibarapa East/Ido Federal Constituency, and the improvement of AI Robotics product prototypes up to the required military standards. In his words, he said, “We are much impressed towards the efforts of Honorable Oluyemi Adewale Taiwo. It is not unexpected as he was basically doing what a genuine representative of the people will do in order to preserve the indigenous technological firms in his constituency, promote their global advantage and protect the future of the youths in such communities through up-skilling” “Let it be known that when Nigeria becomes a great country, it is the sacrifices of genuinely honourable men like Hon. Oluyemi Taiwo of House of Rep and his supportive colleagues in the National assembly, the Honourable Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Senator Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora as well as the permanent secretary of the ministry which will be mentioned for praises. Now, let Nigeria’s global competitiveness in AI and Robotics begin” “RAIN is breaking grounds and to make sure Youths are also trained as Information Technology has been the order of the day”