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Regulating AI to curb fraud/identity theft

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By Mercy Kelani

Regulatory framework for emerging technologies is required in Nigeria.

Tajudeen Abbas, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, stated that the regulation of Artificial Intelligence was being planned by the apex legislative institution of the nation to address the issue of identity theft among the people. Abbas announced this at the 7th Convocation Ceremony held in Abuja by the National Institute For Legislative And Democratic Studies in partnership with the University of Benin. He emphasized that there is a need for Nigeria to establish a regulatory framework for developing technologies.

Also, he said that robotics and AI which are new technologies have great advantages, however, it is required to evaluate their abuse and misuse. The speaker restated that affordable and sustainable energy, efficient manufacturing, safer and cleaner transport, and better healthcare are the advantages of AI. He added that introducing AI into education would offer transformative development in how learning and teaching is organized. He highlighted the potentials of AI, which offers several benefits, improves administrative systems, enhances educational tools, customizes learning, but poses unique challenges.

Fraud and identity theft can increase sporadically.

Nevertheless, he said that there are risks involved in AI, despite its immense opportunities. The Speaker of the House of Representatives stated that algorithms and datasets can reinforce or reflect ideological, racial, or gender biases. Also, it can promote inequalities through the displacement of jobs and automation of routine tasks. Moreover, fraud and identity theft can increase sporadically, using AI to display realistic deep, and fake identities. All these actions or activities are aimed at confusing, tricking or misinforming people.

For instance, maliciously crafted audio, photos and videos can be used by attackers to conduct fraud and societal unrest, which can tarnish the legacy of a brands or people, are the dangers of AI. Abbas announced that the 10th House of Representatives will involve experts and stakeholders, considering the threats, opportunities and recognition deployed by AI. He stressed that issues of intellectual property, security, ethics, accountability, and privacy will be addressed, and their potential will be leveraged upon. In addition, he stated that there would be collaboration with the Executive to guarantee the integration of robotics and artificial intelligence in the school curriculum.

Nigeria mono-economy must be broken to enhance revenue base.

He said that a bill to regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be announced in the coming weeks to guarantee a better system for the use and development of Artificial Intelligence in the country. He stressed that the initiative will be the first movement in Africa and could also be considered as one of the few undertaken by parliaments globally. Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President, whom Senator Sani Musa, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, represented for the occasion, declared that the mono-economy of the nation must be broken for enhancement of its revenue base.

According to Abbas, many years ago, Nigeria was ranked as the top largest producer of ground nuts, palm produce, cocoa and other crops across the world. As a result of this, the country had established a building of pyramids for groundnuts in the North. In the western region of Nigeria, there is a description of it as the Cocoa House, while the Eastern region, is renowned for palm plantations in the country, for their great production.

Federal government should not spend above revenue generated.

Furthermore, he expressed hope that the revenue generated for the country will be boosted only if the country revisits the agricultural sector and integrates them with the revenue received from oil earnings. However, he announced that the country will be in a bad shape if the government spent above the revenue generated. Thus, he stated that those at the National Assembly, deploying their oversight functions, would act by ensuring that agencies and parastatals of the government are working according to the expectation of Nigerians and the Tinubu-led Administration in expenditure management.

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