The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has reiterated that cloud computing has continued to transform the design and deployment of data centers across the globe, and there is need to seek ways to drive more infrastructural investments in data hosting services, especially cloud infrastructure, for the success of digital transformation journey and economic growth and prosperity.
Represented by Dr Aminu Lawal, Special Assistant on Digital Transformation, the NITDA boss said this while delivering a paper on “Data Localization and its benefits to the Nigerian Economy” at Layer3cloud webinar series with the theme: “The Future of African Cloud”.
Abdullahi said, “Data is the new oil and the lifeblood of today’s global digital economy. As such, economic value increasingly shifts to data in the digital economy.”
He noted the report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) that showed global data sphere will grow from 45 zettabytes in 2019 to over 175 zettabytes by 2025, which indicates the phenomenal speed at which the proliferation of data across digital world is accelerating and underscores the significance of data and why adequate measures must be taken on where and how data is stored and processed, to unlock its potential value and ensure privacy and security.
He added that, NITDA as the apex IT regulator in Nigeria, issued the Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) in August 2019. It is the first policy direction concerning cloud technology adoption in the country, and a critical step to drive greater integration of cloud services in the public sector, promote a better approach to infrastructural investments and efficient IT deployment.
“NCCP is to ensure 30% increase in adoption of Cloud Computing by 2024 among Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), providing digital-enabled services to the government, as well as 35% growth in Cloud Computing investments”, he said.
Abdullahi added that the NCCP provides a migration framework for the public sector to adopt cloud services while ensuring a proper balance between local content requirements, privacy, security, and intellectual property of national data.
“The Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT of NITDA provides for the hosting of all sovereign data within Nigeria. This is aimed at driving the required investments and building capacities for indigenous data and information management services. As a result, the Nigerian economy would make significant gains through the creation of jobs and a reduction in capital flight due to the adoption of foreign cloud services,” he said.
He further stated that the efforts of NITDA on the localization of government data have yielded far-reaching results, with over 90% of Federal Government data hosted externally now repatriated to Nigeria.
He said substantial data assets belonging to major Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) such as the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration hosting over 40 million and 95 million subscribers’ data respectively are now hosted within the country. Other databases hosted locally include: the National Identity Number (NIN), the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS), the Government Integrated and Financial Information Management System (GIFMIS), the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), as well as the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“The localization of these important national data assets will not only promote the development and deployment of robust and scalable data center infrastructure in Nigeria, it will further enable our burgeoning technology innovation companies to harness the big data to develop cutting edge innovative solutions that will provide insights for policy planning and development, while also creating a more efficient and effective public sector for better implementation of government’s developmental policies and programmes,” he said.