Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim pantami
Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim pantami

Former Minister, Isa Pantami, Criticizes Successor Over NCAIR Relaunch

In a clash over credit and achievement, former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, has criticized his successor, Bosun Tijani, for the relaunch of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).

The NCAIR, established to drive research and development in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, was recently relaunched by Tijani with the support of global tech giant Cisco, boasting enhanced capabilities.

However, Pantami expressed discontent, suggesting that the relaunch sought to claim credit for his administration’s efforts.

In a social media post, Pantami highlighted the original establishment of the NCAIR in November 2020, emphasizing its effectiveness in training thousands of Nigerians in cutting-edge technologies.

He emphasized that legacy is earned through tangible achievements, not merely claimed by successors.

“The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics has been built and commissioned in November 2020, almost 4 years ago.

“The first of its kind in Africa. It has been very effective, and thousands of Nigerians have been trained and trained. Legacy is achieved, not claimed.”

Responding to the criticism, Minister Tijani outlined the enhancements to the NCAIR, including access to advanced computing infrastructure, dedicated research labs, and connections to AI hubs nationwide.

He underscored the government’s commitment to bolstering AI research, supporting local startups, and leveraging AI for governance.

“To achieve these, here are some new initiatives we’ve introduced to support this relaunch:

“NCAIR now has access to over 2500 virtual CPUs for use by the Nigeria AI Collective. NCAIR is now connected to 1 petabyte of storage at GBB.

“NCAIR will manage the new computing infrastructure for projects of national interest and academic research. There is now adedicated lab at NCAIR for State and enterprise AI research projects.

“NCAIR will allow AI hubs and pods across the country connect remotely to the new computing infrastructure.

“In addition, NCAIR will now report and academically publish on all projects carried out at the institution,” Tijani said.

Additionally, Tijani announced policy initiatives emerging from the Ministry’s National AI Workshop, including the launch of Nigeria’s first Multilingual Large Language Model, signaling a broader strategic push towards AI development and innovation in the country.