Chief Uche Nnaji, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, has highlighted the importance of introducing children to emerging technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), in Nigeria’s pursuit of development.
He expressed this view during a visit to the Ministry by students and teachers from Glisten International Academy in Abuja.
The Minister commended the school for its achievements, including the creation of the Mairabot Front-Line Robot and its success at the international Robotics competition in Dallas, USA, where it was recognized as the best in Africa. He expressed his happiness and excitement regarding the school’s initiative to engage young students in these technological advancements.
Nnaji pledged the Ministry’s support for creative projects, particularly in emerging technologies, and assured the school of assistance in their robotic endeavors.
Dr. Samira Jibir, the Chief Executive of Glisten International Academy, stated that the school focuses on nurturing students as 21st-century nation builders who will contribute to the growth of Nigeria. She expressed appreciation for the positive relationship between the school and the Ministry and requested assistance in commercializing the Mairabot Front-Line Robot. Additionally, she appealed for financial support to enhance the capabilities of the Mairabot Robot and proposed including Artificial Intelligence as a core subject in Nigeria’s school curriculum.
Mr. James Sule, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, praised the academy for inventing a robot to address specific medical challenges, particularly highlighting the use of locally sourced components. He echoed Samira’s suggestion to include Artificial Intelligence in the national school curriculum and confirmed that the Ministry would collaborate with the Ministry of Education and experts both within and outside the country to develop an AI curriculum.
The event culminated in the students and coaches introducing the robot and demonstrating its functions using the prototype they had brought.