As part of efforts to strengthen the nation’s digital economy, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has officially inaugurated the technical working committee (TWC) responsible for implementing the National Data Strategy (NDS).
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. William Alo formally inaugurated the committee, highlighting that the NDS, developed by the National Data Technical Working Group, comprises experts from various sectors of the economy. The strategy aims to address the critical role of data utilisation in Nigeria and harness the power of data to drive innovation, economic growth and social development across the country.
During the inauguration, Alo emphasised the government’s recognition of the importance of data access, ethical and responsible data usage, data privacy, data protection and data governance in ensuring the well-being and privacy of citizens while promoting innovation. He stressed the need for collaboration across sectors and engagement with stakeholders to fully leverage the potential of data.
“The NDS roadmap will guide Nigeria in leveraging data to identify new opportunities, optimise existing processes and make informed decisions that accelerate economic growth,” said the permanent secretary. He expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his unwavering commitment to the Renewed Hope agenda and his vision for a data-driven Nigeria. He also commended the participants for their dedication and expertise, which he believes will be the driving force behind the successful implementation of the Nigeria Data Strategy.
The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, delivered a keynote address during the event. He emphasised the strategic importance of data in driving the digital economy, citing figures from the World Economic Forum and statistics which value the data-driven economy at over $3 trillion and projected to reach $5 trillion in the future.
“The digital economy is worth more than $16 trillion, and digitally transformed enterprises contributed $13.5 trillion to the global GDP in 2018. This year, it is projected to contribute a staggering $53.5 trillion, accounting for over 50 per cent of the global GDP,” said Abdullahi.
Abdullahi further elaborated on the seven key pillars of the National Data Strategy, which are crucial to Nigeria’s successful transition to a digital economy. These pillars include data literacy and skills, data security and privacy, data sovereignty, data infrastructure, data harmonization, data usability, inclusivity and accessibility.
Stressing that data is the currency of the digital economy, Abdullahi urged the technical working group to provide productive recommendations to help regulatory agencies effectively implement the strategy.
The event also featured presentations on the expectations and deliverables of the workshop, TWC terms of reference, as well as breakout and plenary sessions. The successful implementation of the National Data Strategy is expected to play a significant role in transforming Nigeria’s economy and positioning it for a prosperous digital future.