Training Nigeria’s youth in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually give Nigeria forex earnings. This is because companies in the Western world have a demand for affordable robotics and AI products and Nigeria is in a good position to provide such.
This is the position of Dr Olusola Ayoola, a robotics and AI expert, and founder of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Nigeria (RAIN).
Dr Ayoola explained to Tribune Online that while he was in the United Kingdom working for the University of Manchester and Forth Engineering Ltd, he observed that the engineering company outsourced robotics contracts to China because the Chinese were able to provide cheap labour, hence the cost of delivering such projects was lesser than doing same in the UK.
“In Nigeria, we also have cheaper labour compared to the UK which has a minimum wage that is higher than ours. If Nigerians can be trained on robotics and AI such that they are able to deliver products along these lines, we can start getting businesses from UK companies and earn ourselves much needed foreign exchange,” Dr Ayoola said.
Furthermore, the university lecturer explained that because Nigeria is an English-speaking country, prospective clients from the English-speaking West will not have to deal with the challenge of language barrier as the Chinese contractors often wrote operation manuals in Chinese.
Dr Ayoola added that in Nigeria, Ibadan to be precise, a training centre for robotics and AI developed by RAIN which will provide young Nigerians opportunities from internship and research to product development, would soon take off.
He called on the government at various levels and individuals to support the initiative which will help put Nigeria at the forefront of the latest IT revolution.