The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has said stakeholders and regulatory agencies must engage for effective management of environmental data and information.
He made this assertion at the 15th National Stakeholder Forum of the National Environment Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in Abuja.
Delivering a goodwill message themed “Environmental data and information management: A key to environmental governance in Nigeria”, Abdullahi pointed out that by looking at levels of pollutants, emissions and other wastes being discharged, government and relevant stakeholders in the environmental protection sector can evaluate how to remain environmentally compliant, become more efficient and save money, resources and manpower by making informed decisions through the use of data.
While commending the convening of stakeholders’ forum at this period as very apt and timely, the NITDA boss expressed that adequate consideration to the importance of environmental data and effective information management in providing solutions to environmental challenges would encourage and promote data accuracy.
“The availability, ease and speed of collecting environmental data have significantly accelerated in this information age due to the widespread use of digital technologies that have enhanced easy access to direct observation of various environmental data, which is now increasing within consumers’ reach,” Abdullahi said.
Represented by NITDA’s head of the legal unit, Emmanuel Edet, Abdullahi said robust environmental governance requires the participation of stakeholders, provision of fair legal frameworks and transparency in decision-making processes, as well as the enforcement of policies following due rules and regulations. He also appreciated the management of NESREA for its consistency in involving stakeholders in making decisions that concern the nation.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the NESREA director-general, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said the agency had initiated the gradual implementation of its data and information management through the recent automation of its processes, namely; the Compliance Monitoring Information Systems (NECMIS), which is dedicated to ensuring that compliance records generated over the years are organised to produce useful environmental governance and the NESREA Permit, Audit and Management (NESPAM), which is intended to aid the generation, collation, analysis, storage and retrieval of data for compliance monitoring and enforcement programmes.