By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Government has vowed to enact a law to criminalise breach of the Executive Orders 003 and 005 on local content in Information Technology.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu disclosed this Thursday at a press conference to commemorate the 2018 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD-18) in Abuja.
He said the law, when passed, would give teeth to the executive orders which were design to give local software industry and the practitioners the needed opportunity to improve their skills and products.
He added that it would also allow local products and services to face minimal stifling competition from foreign firms.
Shittu also stated that FG would include artificial intelligence and coding in the future plans of the nation’s education plans.
He said: ‘‘Federal government is going to enact a holistic law to criminalise breach of the Executive Orders 003 and 005 on local content in Information Technology.
‘‘Government will extend the focus on science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) to Artificial Intelligence Science and Technology Engineering and Mathematics (AISTEM).
‘’With this, our youth would be put to the right path as ICT and AI would have deeply affected the ways we labour and relate with one another in the fourth industrial revolution era.
‘‘I urge parents to allow their children and wards to take coding classes and buy them educational toys that can contribute to the spirit of invention and creativity.
‘‘The private sector should also take the lead in the field of artificial intelligence by sponsoring research activities.
‘‘On our part, government would encourage and provide stakeholders with differing perspectives, facts and opinions on Artificial Intelligence.’’
‘‘Government will collaborate with private sector to resolve issues around AI. Government will collaborate to ensure that infrastructure and sources of funding are developed for young tech savvy people. We will evolve policies to facilitate investment and innovation in AI’’ he added.