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NITDA approves 5 IT regulatory guidelines to boost economy

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has approved five regulatory guidelines to improve service delivery in the sector and boost the nation’s economy.

The approved guidelines were presented to the public at a news conference addressed by Dr Isa Pantami, the Director General of NITDA on Friday in Abuja.

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state was the special guest at the event attended by critical stakeholders in the information technology sector.

The guidelines, all amended, include Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communications, Nigeria e-Government Inter-operability Framework (Ne-GIF) and Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV).

Others are Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) and Framework and Guidelines for ICT Adoption in Tertiary Institutions.

Pantami, during the presentation of the guidelines, said the agency’s regulatory documents were developmental and not intended to indict stakeholders in the industry.

Pantami, a ministerial nominee, recalled that the agency had on Jan. 25 signed off five regulatory guidelines, adding that the newly approved ones would consolidate the older and ensure the agency remains relevant in regulating the IT industry

He said that the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, as amended was launched in 2013 and required review to be dynamic to the trends of ICT industry.

“There are new opportunities emerging in the ICT industry and the maiden guideline was meant to be reviewed after five years.

“We have amended it and through the implementation of this guideline, we were able to develop the local ICT industry better which ensure it made contribution to our Gross Domestic Product.

“The amended guidelines are focused on accelerating the development of indigenous skills, technology transfer, use of indigenous manpower and local manufacturing,” he said.

Pantami, said that with the implementation of the guideline, the patronage of indigenous computers increased from 82,000 in 2013 to 356,000 in 2017.

He underscored the need for priority attention to be given to indigenous products, to encourage local innovators to produce what the country need and for the citizens to consume what we produce.

On the Ne-GIF, Pantami said most public institution’s activities were being automated and required connectivity which would save the government, cost.

He recalled that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the government was saving N24 billion monthly.

The D-G added that the agency already has a governing body in place and measures are being taken to implement the guideline to ensure government institutions interact.

He said that the NIIEV enables young innovators, ICT start ups to thrive, adding that it would strengthen the Nigerian technology ecosystem.

“It consists of digital infrastructure development, education reform, skills development, Research and Development as well as support for ICT entrepreneurship ecosystem innovation,” he said.

Pantami said they were engaging stakeholders to collectively identify challenges in the ecosystem and proffer solutions to them.

“NCCP is a set of policy statements that articulate government’s strategic plan for cloud computing adoption in the public sector and by Small and Medium Enterprises who provide ICT enabled services to government.

“The goal of the policy is to ensure a 30 per cent increase in the adoption of cloud computing by 2024 among Federal public institutions, SMEs and 35 per cent increase in cloud computing investments by 2024.”

He added that tertiary institutions needed to digitise their activities for the decongestion of population in schools.

According to him, there should be minimum standard adopted by tertiary schools to advance learning in line with global requirements which saved cost and improved efficiency.

Pantami noted that the regulatory documents are subsidiary legislations and their violation attracts penalties.

He said that the regulations were all available to the public on the agency’s website – www.nitda.gov.ng.

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