Why Nigerians must embrace realities of emerging technologies – Fashola

By Stanley Iwuoha

Former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says Nigerians should embrace the realities of the internet and Artificial Intelligence, saying they were the new realities.

Fashola made the call on Wednesday at the unveiling and official launch of the book “A Scholar’s Journey: Navigating Academia’’ written by former Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy Prof. Isa Pantami, in Abuja.

The 17 Chapters book chronicled the over 20 years experiences and journey of Pantami in the quest for religious growth, in the academia and governance.

Speaking on the lessons to be drawn from the book, the keynote speaker, Fashola said that the quest for knowledge kept changing the world and there was serious need to invest in reading.

“Knowledge has enabled us to push the frontiers of the world, knowledge is changing how we trade and removing the barriers in our world that might inhibit our interactions with one another.

“Given where we are today and the rapid penetration of the internet,the evaluation of AI, it shows that interesting time still lies ahead of us for the human civilisation.

“I encourage us to read about AI and keep an eye on that development, because we are at the course of experiencing new realities that will change our understanding of our environment,’’ he said.

He commended Pantami for his giant strides in government, adding that his records especially during the Federal Executive Council meetings at his time were close to impeccable.

Fashola also said that Pantami ensured government institutions complied to regulation policies at the time and that brought development to the ICT sector.

Gov. of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, who was the Chairman of the occasion, said the personality of Pantami was one to be reckoned with because he brought development to the ICT sector.

Zulum said “Nigeria was able to own a lot of revenue from non-oil sector, bringing diversification of the economy.’’

He said that the previous administration recorded great achievemnets in the ICT sector and urged the present administration to consolidate on the gains.

Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Former Executive Secretary, while reviewing the book, said it was well written, edited, structured, had simple language, was dignifying and was highly recommended.

According to Rasheed, the book will be a great asset to those who want to achieve great strides in the digital economy space.

Pantami, in his remarks, said whatever that was written remained forever and he wrote the book to document his over 20-year experience and provide mentorship to younger ones to avoid future mistakes.

The event was attended by former Ministers of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Aviation, Femi Kayode, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba.

Other dignitaries at the launch included Gov. of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, former Gov. of Gombe State, Sen. Danjuma Goje, Emir of Gombe.

Others were the present Gov. of Gombe State, Muhammad Yahaya, Group Managing Director of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, former Gov. of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, former Army Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman (Rtd).

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