The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has said that Nigeria is the giant of Africa when it comes to data protection and data privacy.
Dr Pantami, who spoke at 20th anniversary celebration and unveiling of logo of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the Agency has played critical roles in national development by providing the legal framework for information technology development and pioneering IT developmental projects
while commending the (NITDA) for implementing the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), the Minister added that other African countries are making reference to Nigeria Data Protection Regulation in the process of coming up with their draft.
“Nigeria Data Protection Regulation is another area where NITDA deserves commendation, this is subsidiary legislation of the Federal Government of Nigeria which was approved in January 2019 to ensure data protection, data privacy which is our constitutional right.
“NITDA came up with a subsidiary legislation which with all sense of humility, we can say is the first of its kind in Africa, with that humility, I can say that Nigeria is the giant of Africa not only in our GDP or population, but also in data protection and data privacy.”
The Minister also commended NITDA on IT project clearance which he said was used to fight corruption in project execution in the country.
“When I look at the situation of NITDA today, I feel highly satisfied, and I always commend the board and management for taking NITDA to a greater height. “Some of the major achievements of NITDA that I always appreciate and commend the Agency is on the IT project clearance,” he said.
He highlighted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is more about fighting corruption, while emphasizing that this is one of the strategic areas where corruption has been fought when it comes to IT project in the Federal public institutions.
“The effective handling of IT project clearance by NITDA has saved Nigeria over N2billion; before now contractors hyped the cost of executing a contract for the government,” he said.
In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said NITDA has done well in championing the digital economy agenda. He said in the last twenty years of NITDA, the agency has facilitated access to information technology goods and services while catalysing job creation and ensuring national security.
“NITDA’s 20 years of IT services deserve commendations. The journey may be slow but Nigeria is really on the right part towards the actualisation of the digital economy,” Danbatta said.
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, said NITDA has been working assiduously to help Nigeria catch the train of the 4th industrial revolution without leaving any sector of the economy behind.
“The Agency has played critical roles in national development by providing the legal framework for information technology development, pioneering IT developmental projects, facilitating access to information technology goods and services, catalysing job creation and ensuring national security.
“I am happy to say that NITDA has substantially actualised the National IT Policy’s goal to digitise Nigeria and the Agency is now in the phase of digitalising the country.
He said on the 28th of November 2019, the President unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) to facilitate the diversification of our economy and position Nigeria to tap from the $11.5trillion global digital economy worth.
“NITDA is playing pivotal roles to actualise the objectives of the NDEPS as it had done with the National IT Policy. He said the NITDA has made a lot of significant gains for the country since inception including the huge ICT spike in the GDP from less than 0.5 % in 2001 to over 14% among other sterling achievements.