The Fourth Industrial Revolution is emerging and evolving at an exponential rate and disrupting industries in every country leading to the transformation of entire systems of production, management and governance. Robotics, autonomous design, augmented reality, Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and AI will have defining impact on the society.

President, Nigerian Computer  Society (NCS) Prof Adesina Sodiya, said while many organisations are still feeling indifferent about the revolution, others are implementing changes and preparing for the future of smart manufacturing and business processes.

The Director-General/Chief executive Officer CEO), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu A. Aziz, agrees no less with  Sodiya. For him, the country is at the threshold of a revolution that will fundamentally change the way people live, work and relate with one another and the revolution is happening at a very great speed.

“We have a lot of catching up to do here in Africa and Nigeria to be part of this change and shift. 4IR has presented challenging ideas about what it means to be human with new security concerns, major impacts on business and government. The ensuing disruptions and shifts mean that we live in a time where we must employ and regulate these technologies to capture their benefits; exploit the opportunities it presents and also work harder to minimise the great risks it portends for our future,” he said.

Sodiya and Aziz were among participants at the virtual International Conference of the NCS that had:  Emerging Applications & Technologies for Industry 4.0 as its theme.

At the end of the forum, which had 847 participants from within and outside the country, including 477 candidates inducted into the Society, the communiqué issued highlighted the importance of developing the 4IR skills such as coding, AI, robotics, and others in partnership with the tertiary institutions.

With the reality that digital technology has changed the face of business across the globe due to convergence of IoT, AI and robotics among other evolutions,  government was urged to implement policies capable of enabling smart technologies for a quantum leap into the 4IR. Government should also strive to reform  existing regulatory frameworks that have become anachronistic to digital economy.

Also, key government services such as education, commerce and healthcare needed to be completely digitalised as this will improve adoption of 4IR across sectors.

“NCS must work with relevant government agencies including state and local governments to provide nationwide advocacy on implementation of emerging applications and current technologies in a bid to becoming one of top industrialised nations in the world.

“The conference recognised data as the heart of 4IR, thus emphasised the effect of compromised data which can affect factors of production and subsequently the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Policy makers must render adequate support to relevant agencies towards implementing appropriate regulations in this regard.

“The government should create business environment that allows operators to roll out Broadband to last mile and facilitate access to public sector sites that allows operators to deploy network equipment rather than investing in interstate fibre projects.

“The government should classify internet access as a fundamental right of the citizens in order to achieve the fourth industrial revolution.

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It was resolved that NCS must work with governments and other international organisations to combat insecurity through data exchange and information sharing. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence can be deployed to track Money Laundering (ML) activities and gather security intelligence.

With the evolution of Industry 4.0 applications and emerging technologies disrupting industries at exponential rates, NCS should coordinates all other stakeholders in setting necessary machineries in motion towards improving the nation’s infrastructure.

NCS should support our regulatory agencies in quick elimination of unsafe and unreliable digital gateways in a bid to create sound trust in the ecosystem and enabling innovations and economic growth.

The conference recognised the role of our financial institutions in achieving digital economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Financial service operators should develop policies and programmes to support the manufacturing sector in the full implementation of the fourth industrial revolution.

The conference encouraged the implementation of blockchain technology in financial services for error resolution and enhanced security

The conference advocated for closed collaboration between the Industry and Academia, leveraging on network of Nigeria Computer Society members across the country to help bridge the gap in digital skills and provide train the trainer programmes for lecturers and professionals.

NCS should facilitate improved Public Private Partnership (PPP) in capacity building and development towards achieving the new methods of governance in the era of Industry 4.0.

NCS should continue to support NITDA and other relevant government agencies in making digital services available for Nigerians at reasonable costs in both urban and rural areas.

The conference recognised the strength of youths in nation building. The conference charged the Nigeria Computer Society to work with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in developing a capacity building programme targeted at One million youths across the country on digital literacy for economic prosperity, wealth creation and employment opportunities within the next one year.

NCS should work with csorporate organisations to design a system for internship and job placements for students to help bridge the gap between the industry job requirements and academic knowledge.

 

The Nation