Government initiatives to protect Nigerians in the digital age have spun off an estimated N5.2 billion data protection industry in Nigeria, the Federal IT regulator says.
Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), says that the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, a slew of rules on data privacy and protection, safeguards Nigerians against what he calls “digital colonialism.”
Inuwa, represented by Dr Vincent Olatunji, Director of e-Government Development and Regulations at NITDA said this in a paper on “The Nigerian Digital Architecture: The Journey So Far” delivered at the World Fintech Festival, 2021, an event jointly hosted by Nigeria and Singapore, the agency says in a statement.
Data Protection Gains for Nigeria
According to the NITDA chief, the positive contributions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation initiatives that has impacted the Ease of Doing Business, cross border data flow, and created over 3000 jobs, is one of several achievements that Nigeria has recorded through the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan.
“The digital economy”, Inuwa says, “from Nigeria’s perspectives revolves around the utilization of digital transformation, knowledge and technology to deliver goods and services, economy that drives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, (4IR), convergence of all sets of digital innovation that drives social-economic development and economic output created from digital technologies and innovations.”
For him, the existence of shared vision, partnership, and collaboration amongst the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, its parastatals and the sector’s stakeholders have been identified as one of the reasons for the unprecedented 17.09 per cent contribution of the digital economy sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Q2 2021.
The way forward for Nigeria in attaining top position in the global digital economy, he reckons, remains in the country’s resolve to public-private partnership initiatives, funding, human capital, advocacy and continuity.
The redesignation of the Federal Ministry to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, (NDEPS) were responsible for the paradigm shift in Nigeria’s digital economy, the NITDA DG says, adding that NDEPS was developed to reposition the Nigerian Economy to take advantage of the many opportunities that digital technologies provide.
The eight pillars of NDEPS align well with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government, and address the three key focus areas of President Muhammadu Buhari that include economic development, anti-corruption, and security, he adds underscoring that various policies and strategies put in place by the Ministry being executed by its parastatals laid the foundation for the success recorded so far.
Speaking on IT project clearance, Inuwa says that NITDA’s initiatives have saved over N30 billion for Nigeria and reduced IT project failures, while over 20,000 Nigerians have been trained and 250,000 enrolled in both NITDA Academy and Digital Nigeria dot gov dot ng platform under its Digital Literacy and Skill programme.