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Communications minister unveils Nigeria’s tech priorities at UNGA 78

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The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, has outlined Nigeria’s tech-focused agenda for the 78th United Nations General Assembly.

In a document shared on his X handle on Sunday and titled “Driving Nigeria’s Economic Growth through Global Partnerships in Innovation and Technology,” he emphasised three core areas of partnership-seeking: the Universal Service Provision Fund, AI Training, and Economic Diversification through Technology.

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, themed “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all” will feature the High-Level General Debate from September 19 to September 23, 2023, in New York.

He underscored the significance of Nigeria’s presence at UNGA 78, positioning the country at the intersection of technological innovation and sustainable development. He stated that this year’s UNGA offers a unique opportunity for Nigeria to align its strategies and aspirations with the global community.

The minister maintained that collaboration with global leaders and stakeholders is crucial to realising Nigeria’s vision of a digital and inclusive future.

He said, “Expanding the Universal Service Provision Fund: Connectivity is a catalyst for progress. As we work towards bridging the digital divide, we seek partnerships that can boost the USPF. Our goal is to connect a vast number of unserved and underserved communities in Nigeria, fostering inclusivity and ensuring that every Nigerian benefits from the digital revolution.

“Positioning Nigeria as a Hub for AI Training: Nigeria brims with a vibrant pool of talent, potential and innovation. We aspire to put Nigeria on the global map as a premier destination for AI model training. Not only does this promise significant job creation, but it also emphasises our commitment to enhancing the inclusivity and robustness of AI datasets. We envision capturing the nuances of dark data from the global south, ensuring that AI solutions resonate with a diverse spectrum of lived experiences.

“Accelerating Economic Diversification through Technology: The agenda set forth by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, champions economic diversification powered by technological applications. Our mission at the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy is clear – catalyse the productivity of critical sectors using technology. To this end, we are in pursuit of partnerships that can increase capital inflow to Nigerian startups via Foreign Direct Investments, bolstering our entrepreneurial ecosystem and setting the stage for sustainable growth.”

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IMF Urges Stronger Social Safety Nets to Maximize AI’s Benefit

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International Monetary Fund
– IMF warns of job losses and inequality from generative AI
– Fiscal policy crucial for equal distribution of AI benefits
– Upgrades to social protection and tax systems necessary

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sounded the alarm on the potential negative effects of generative AI on jobs and wealth inequality. To mitigate these effects, the IMF recommends implementing stronger social safety nets and fiscal policies.

Accordingly, governments should consider new measures to raise revenue and support workers who lose their jobs due to AI. This includes investing in sector-based training to prepare workers for the jobs of the future.

The IMF emphasizes that fiscal policy has a major role to play in ensuring a more equal distribution of AI’s benefits. However, this requires significant upgrades to social protection and tax systems worldwide.

As the IMF notes, “Fiscal policy has a major role to play in supporting a more equal distribution of gains and opportunities from generative AI.” They argue that more generous unemployment insurance and investment in sector-based training are necessary to prepare workers for the changing job market.

The IMF advises against a special tax on AI products, instead suggesting that corporate tax breaks that encourage job displacement should be reconsidered. Strengthening taxes on capital income could help offset rising wealth inequality.

 

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Police Probe US Businessman’s Sudden Demise in Lagos Hotel

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– US-based businessman Onyejekwe Izuchukwu found dead in Lagos hotel
– Police investigation underway to determine cause of death
– Autopsy to be performed to reveal more details

The Lagos State Police Command has launched an investigation into the sudden death of Onyejekwe Izuchukwu, a 62-year-old US-based businessman. Izuchukwu’s body was discovered in his hotel room in Ikoyi on June 9, 2024.

According to a source, Izuchukwu had been staying at the hotel since June 6, engaging in business activities. Tragically, his lifeless body was found by a cleaner on the floor of his room.

The hotel’s management reported the incident to the police, who have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Izuchukwu’s death. A doctor was called to the scene and confirmed the businessman’s demise.

Izuchukwu was a prominent figure in the oil and gas industry, having served as President of Bits and Drilling Tools, a division of Schlumberger. His death has sent shockwaves through the industry.

“The command has commenced an investigation into the case,” said Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin. “Izuchukwu’s corpse has been deposited in a morgue in Ikeja for autopsy.”

 

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