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Nigeria Can Fight Boko Haram, insecurity with AI, Says Borno’s Chief Judge

The Chief Judge of Borno State has recommended the use of AI as a tool to insecurity in Nigeria.

The Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah has emphasised the need for the government at all levels to generate sufficient data to use Artificial Intelligence in public administration.

He also recommended the use of AI as a tool in the fight against insecurity, including insurgency in Nigeria. 

Arise News reports that Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States in the North East have been gripped by Boko Haram insurgency since 2009.

According to Zannah, for proper assimilation of digital technology into the system, the government must first do its homework since data is an. essential tool.

He made the recommendations in Abuja during an event on AI for social justice organised by Citizen’s Gavel Foundation for Social Justice, a human rights organization, with the theme, “AI For Social Justice: Leading Citizens’ Freedom Of Expression.”

The Borno CJ said even in tackling cases of insurgency and other security threats, Artificial Intelligence has proven to have the capacity to mitigate such occurrence,  including the drawbacks that might accompany the technology. 

Zannah said, “The fears are justified, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use AI in the justice system. It is about taking measures and ensuring that whatever drawback they come with are addressed and acknowledged based on the best approach and not on whimsical promises or mere talk.

“The AI tech itself can help in mitigating some of the drawbacks of the technology. The digital device militates against the optimal use of AI. It is trying and the algorithm is trying based on data. But as Nigerians, have we generated sufficient data? So AI can be used. But you have to do the homework first and before you do that, data is needed. You can’t ignore it essentially because it is a tool.”

The Executive Director, Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative also known as Partners West Africa Nigeria Limited, Kemi Okenyedo, said that there have been reduction in number of complaints received by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since the increase in fuel price. 

“At the Governing Council meeting, what we noticed is that we have seen seemingly reduction in the number of complaints we process when we have council meetings within my own committee. When we asked, we could trace it to the increment in fuel price. What is most likely the cost of transportation for people to go into the offices now to lodge their complaints is too high”, Okenyedo, Board member of the NHRC, said.

The Convener and Executive Director of the Citizens’ Gavel, Nelson Olanikpekun, said Nigeria has struggled over the years in integrating the use of Artificial Intelligence into the scheme of things.

He said beyond the rhetorics, more is needed in investment towards ensuring the introduction of AI as a tool in governance, and the enhancement of processes, practices and policies.

“We have struggled over the years implementing digital platforms in governance. If you look at the Head of Service for instance, they are just trying to digitize their platforms. Even in terms of elections, we have had this conversation concerning electronic voting. 

“We need to invest more to ensure that we are moving from traditional analogue to digital ways and by so doing introducing AI as a tool”, he said.

The Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Friday Odeh, said government’s investment should not just be in financial literacy, but also in digital literacy if progress can be achieved especially in the area of corruption.

He said that the big gap which includes the out-of-school children simply indicates that the next generation will be the kids of those who do not have access to technology, not to talk of building technological companies. 

Odeh said, “Technology has continued to increase the revenue of advanced countries. Look at the number of our out-of-school children, the government is still trying to tackle the issue and which is a huge problem. So the next generation will be the kids of those who do not have access to technology, not to talk of building technological companies. So there’s the need to invest more in literacy, not just in financial literacy, but also in digital literacy.

“Priority lies with the government. There is budget on security, infrastructure, works and housing. But you don’t have any of those going to digital technology or even education or healthcare. But we can have those platforms as done in advanced countries. 

“If you remember, the EFCC chairman did mention that as much as N2.9 trillion is being lost to corruption through the award of contracts and others. The ICPC, on the other hand, says about 60 per cent of our resources are lost in contraction and procurement.”

Friday Olokor, Abuja 

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