Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), at the weekend unveiled five additional instruments for the regulation and development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the country as well as improve the ease of doing business.
The Director General/CEO and minister -designate, Dr. Isa Pantami, who spoke at a signing-off event in Abuja, said the instruments signed-off will address numerous challenges confronting the country’s march towards effective ICT adoption.
Pantami explained that the instruments will focus on accelerating the development of indigenous skills, technology transfer, use of indigenous manpower and local manufacturing.
The DG who promised a holistic implementation of the regulatory documents also cautioned possible violators of possible sanctions that awaits them.
In his presentation, the DG said: “NITDA will do everything possible to pursue vigorously, the implementation of the regulatory instruments and ensure their violators are appropriately sanctioned.
“The ICT sector cannot be effectively developed without relevant rules and regulations creating a certain level of uniformity, consistency and careful investments in the right type of technology needed in a country such as ours”.
Speaking further he said, “It is a known fact that the rate of ICT development and adoption across the world have been translating into economic growth and sustainable development. NITDA has huge mandates broadly covering IT regulation, development and advisory roles.
“This is evident in section 6(a-n) of the NITDA Act, 2007. We believe that our regulatory and advisory to as should be geared towards the development of ICT and its integration to implement socio-economic agenda of the government at all levels. We would not by any means stifle ICT development especially to the detriment of our indigenous IT companies.
“NITDA as the apex agency responsible for the development and regulation of IT in Nigeria must ensure it walks the talk and builds an enabling environment for the growth of ICT industry; pave the way for efficient and sustainable use and adoption of ICT for the development and growth of the country. It is on this coviction that we are building a strong foundation for ICT development, adoption and grown through effective regulation”.
Explaining the guidelines, he said: “The maiden regulatory guidelines for Nigerian content development in ICT were launched in 2013. However, based on changing realities such as the dynamism and changing capacity of the ICT industry, new opportunities that are beginning to emerge and the fact that the maiden guidelines were meant to be reviewed after five (5) years, we have therefore amended the maiden edition accordingly.
“Through the implementation of the maiden guidelines, we were able to develop the local ICT industry better which ensured it increased contribution to GDP,” he said.
The five instruments unveiled were: guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as amended; Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (Ne-GlF);Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV); Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP); and Framework and Guidelines for ICT Adoption in Tertiary Institutions.
NITDA anchored the guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on three core focus areas: driving indigenous innovation, developing the local ICT Industry and establishing Intellectual Property regulation and protection standards. Each of them has a set of related strategic goals
The agency said the Nigeria e-Govemment Interoperability Framework (Ne-GlF) provides tools, specifications and recommendations based on open Standards for supporting public institutions in undertaking interoperability of e-government solutions and information exchange for the provision of digital services that require two or more public institutions.
The Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV) is a conpendium of policy recommendations and incentives designed to strengthen the Nigerian technology ecosystem.
It consists of digital infrastructure development, education reform, skills development and R&D as well as support for ICT entrepreneurship Emecosystem Innovation.