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NITDA targets 3,500 jobs with data protection policy implementation

…sets 30% target increase for Cloud Computing 30% in 2024

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA says effective implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection regulation (NDPR) and Nigeria Cloud Computing Strategy frameworks will create about 3,500 jobs for the unemployed Nigerians.

Isa Ibrahim Pantami

This it said will be achieved through Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO) and Indigenous Cloud Service Providers and Consulting (CSPs & CSC); save billions of Naira and as well tremendously reduce capital flight on IT procurement.

The Director-General of the agency and Minister-designate, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami stated this on Thursday at an executive session on implementation framework of the Nigeria Data Protection regulation and Nigeria Cloud Computing Implementation Strategy held in Abuja.

Pantami said the stakeholders engagement was also in compliance with the NITDA’s rule-making process which makes it mandatory for the Agency to expose its proposed regulations, standards, guidelines and frameworks for public scrutiny.

He said the agency has approached the assignment with focus, diligence and integrity, knowing that the outcome of the process would determine largely, Nigeria’s digital future, saying that NITDA is open to constructive criticisms and opinions to make these documents better for the nation.

The NITDA boss said the goal of this Policy is to ensure a 30% increase in adoption of cloud computing by 2024 among Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and SMEs that provide digital-enabled services to the government. The policy also targets 35%p increase in cloud computing investments by 2024.

‘‘The cloud computing policy is to achieve the following objectives by 2024: Enabling environment for private sector to increase cloud computing infrastructure investments by 35%; Clear direction and programs that ensure attainment of 30% increase in cloud adoption and migration by the Public sector and SMEs that provide service for the government; and Enabling and competitive business environment for Nigerian cloud service providers (cps) and/or cloud service consulting (CSC) to operate efficiently and profitably in the cloud market place.’’

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He further stated that the implementation strategy had been developed as a guide for the Agency, Public Institutions (PIs), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and other relevant stakeholders to implement Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy.

He said the agency is currently investigating some private and public institutions who are in alleged breach of the NDPR, adding that framework is very critical for the effective implementation of the NDPR as it is aimed at clarifying grey areas of the Regulation and to ensure less fractious interpretations.

‘‘Through our unwavering commitment to local content, NITDA has enhanced the purchase of indigenous brand of ICT devices by over 60%. Local hosting of data has doubled in value and local software consumption has significantly increased. We have insisted on local software where there is clear capacity exhibited by indigenous software makers.

‘‘The cumulative effect of these is that ICT contribution to GDP reached an unprecedented mark of 13.63% in the fourth quarters (Q4) of 2018. NITDA saved the Federal Government about Fifteen Billion Naira (15 Billion Naira) in 2018 through IT projects clearance regulatory efforts. These are a few among many other feats we have achieved through effective regulation,’’ he added.

NITDA had issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on the 25th January 2019 and presented the Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) on 7th May 2019 before a selected group of public institutions, private organizations and other individuals to review and add value to the document.

The event is a follow up to feedback from the stakeholders, who had requested for immediate implementation of the regulation and policy in view of their strategic importance to the country’s digital transformation journey. And in response, he said these documents are developed to guide the Agency and all stakeholders in implementing NDPR and NCCP.

The NDPR was issued with the following objectives: Safeguarding the rights of natural persons to data privacy; fostering safe-conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data; enabling Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for eligible Nigerians.

Stakeholders at the event were expected to examine the draft documents critically and come up with an implementation framework and strategy that reflect our collective interests and peculiarities.

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