By Chinenye Anuforo           [email protected]


Nigeria is on the verge of a significant technological leap. Industry experts have said Artificial Intelligence(AI) is poised to revolutionise the nation’s economic landscape and is no longer a futuristic concept. They say from boosting agricultural yields to streamlining financial services, AI holds immense potential to unlock Nigeria’s full economic potential.

Executive Vice Chairman, Verdant Zeal Group, Dr. Tunji Olugbodi, “AI presents a game-changing opportunity for Nigeria. By leveraging AI solutions in key sectors, we can address critical challenges. Artificial Intelligence is one of the most profound technological advancements of our time. It has the potential to revolutionise, revitalise and even revive (or restore) various industries, and Africa’s creative sectors are no exception. AI can enhance creativity, increase efficiency, and unlock new opportunities.”

AI in Agriculture: A recipe for success

A data scientist, Oyindamola Soyinka, said Nigeria’s agricultural sector is a significant contributor to the GDP, yet faces challenges like inefficient resource management and unpredictable weather patterns but that AI-powered solutions can revolutionise farming. “Precision agriculture powered by AI can be a game-changer. Imagine farmers receiving real-time data on soil conditions, weather patterns, and optimal fertilizer usage. This can lead to increased yields, reduced waste, and ultimately, a more secure food supply for Nigeria,” he said.

Revolutionising financial services: AI for everyone

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Financial inclusion remains a challenge in Nigeria, with a significant portion of the population lacking access to basic banking services. AI can bridge this gap, says Jide Awe, CEO Jidaw Systems Limited.  He said, “AI-powered loan approvals can be a powerful tool for financial inclusion. By analysing financial data and creditworthiness more efficiently than traditional methods, AI can empower micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, the backbone of the Nigerian economy, to access the financing they need to grow.”

The potential applications of AI extend far beyond agriculture and finance. Dr. Obi Osondu, a data scientist and AI consultant, outlines some additional areas where AI can make a significant impact, saying, “AI can revolutionise manufacturing by optimising production lines and predicting equipment failures. In healthcare, AI-powered diagnostics can assist doctors in faster and more accurate diagnoses, while AI-powered logistics systems can optimize delivery routes and streamline transportation networks.”

Challenges and considerations: Responsible AI development

While AI offers a wealth of oppourtunities, there are challenges to consider, as Dr. Ngozi Okonkwo, a leading expert in AI ethics, points out. “Ensuring responsible AI development and deployment is crucial. We need to address potential biases in AI algorithms and mitigate the risk of job displacement through training and reskilling initiatives,” Okonkwo said.

The road ahead: A collaborative effort

Nigeria has the potential to become a leader in AI innovation in Africa. Continued government investment in AI research and development, coupled with public-private partnerships, can foster an ecosystem that harnesses the power of AI for economic growth and inclusive prosperity. “By embracing AI responsibly and collaboratively. Nigeria can unlock a future of increased efficiency, productivity, and innovation, solidifying its position as a global economic powerhouse,” Okonkwo concluded.