The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has said the governance of data and how Nigeria as a country seeks to position herself in this agenda is key to ensuring that maximum value is derived and provide the needed support for the thriving innovation ecosystem.
Abdullahi made this known at a stakeholders’ engagement on the Draft National Data Strategy (NDS) organised by NITDA in Abuja.
The stakeholders’ engagement is to provide information about the proposed NDS, opportunities for stakeholders to discuss their opinions and concerns, address expectations and misconceptions regarding the NDS and discuss the potential impacts of the strategy.
“The non-depletion characteristics of data make it a special asset for the creation of value and is of key strategic importance for both the public and private sectors. Its proper utilisation can create a competitive advantage, especially for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in this era of data economy.”
Speaking on the draft, Abdullahi noted that the strategy seeks to create an enabling environment for access to data to develop the digital economy, adding that it also supports the development of data infrastructure, data for public good, open government data, data privacy and protection and upskilling Nigerians in both public and private sectors.
The DG opined that data collection/acquisition, transmission, storage/warehousing, processing, use and protection must be carried out in a manner that is respectful of the rights enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Represented by the agency’s acting director, digital economy development department (DED), Engr. Salisu Kaka, Abdullahi added that the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) has also been created to further mainstream data privacy and protection.
Presenting the Nigeria Data Strategy to stakeholders, Mr. Lukman Lamid said: “The essence of the engagement is not just to have an excellent document but one that can be implemented”.
He said the vision of NDS is “to make Nigeria one of the top leaders in the global data economy translating into prosperity of all.
“The mission of the NDS is to harness the economic and social values of data for the advancement of Nigeria. He added that the goal is to make data as accessible, sharable, and actionable as possible for all categories of stakeholders who might need it for economic and social gains.”
While noting that the value proposition of the NDS is ownership, security and privacy, public good, job creation and global competitiveness.
He said it will also take cognizance of the global issues around data and data strategy such as data security and protection, data privacy, data sovereignty, data mobility and cross-border data flows.