By Chimezie Godfrey
As data affects how Nigerians make decisions on the path to creating a sustainable future especially in the post-COVID-19 era and the emerging challenges, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa said that 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.
Inuwa who was represented by the Acting Director, Digital Economy Development Department (DED), Engr. Salisu Kaka made this statement while delivering his welcome address 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.
Inuwa stated that, “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 in this era of data economy.”
Speaking on the Draft, Inuwa 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 Infrastructures, 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 Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He added that 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.”
Mr. Lamid explained that, “the mission of the NDS is 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.
Mr. Lamid said it will also take cognizance the global issues around Data and Data Strategy such as; data security and protection, data privacy, data sovereignty, and data mobility and cross-border data flows.
The event witnessed four break-out sessions. While the first and second break-out session focused and made recommendation on the NDS aspirations (vision, mission, goals, objectives, principles, and value proposition), Governance, and Ecosystem structure, the third and fourth discussed and made recommendations on the NDS enablers, drivers, pillars, and implementation strategy.