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Govt calls for repatriation of data banks




Says localization can generate over
Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu has called on MDAs, corporate organizations, financial institutions and other companies in the country to repatriate their data currently hosted in overseas Data Centers and hand them over to indigenous service providers with similar, if not superior data hosting capabilities.

He noted that data localization and repatriation would create over 10,000 jobs in the next four years in infrastructure engineering, hardware engineering and network administration.

Speaking at the First Annual Summit on Data Hosting in Nigeria in Abuja, on Tuesday the minister observed that government is fully committed to the meticulous implementation of Laws governing data hosting in Nigeria; particularly those dealing with the localization of government and citizenry Data.

He noted that his commitment is particularly important in view of the security dimensions of data hosting in the face of today’s threats of cyber espionage, cyber-attacks, cyber criminality, and the associated risk of jobs exportation and capital flight.

Shittu then implored data management companies in Nigeria that store and process public and private data to host such data within the shores of Nigeria, stressing that apart from its security benefits, it will ultimately act as a stimulus for the cloud hosting services domain within the country leading to an increased demand for collocated data hosting service provision.

He said; “In developed societies, data and information management firms collecting the personal and financial data of citizens are required to use servers based in-country. Global best practices such as this ensure that the following vital objectives are achieved: Sensitive government and citizenry data and information are not unduly exposed or exploited; Local industry thrives and jobs are created; and Revenue is generated for the country through taxation”.

Assuring that Policies on data localization will be vigorously pursued by the Office for Nigerian Content (ONC) to stem the current reliance on overseas data hosting services and the grave security risks it portends for sensitive government data and private citizens’ data, Shittu said all such data must quickly be re-domiciled within our national cyberspace borders and prosecutable jurisdiction of Nigerian laws in cases of breach.“Such data services must also be so re-domiciled to create jobs for young Nigerians through Data Centre Services.

The Communications Ministry is indeed keen on working with the industry to strengthen the capacity for local data hosting firms to build and run cloud hosting services. We will do so by enforcing compliance with section 14.1.2 of the Local Content Guidelines of 2013 specifically targeting MDAs and encouraging the private sector to follow suit”, he added.

According to him, “Small businesses and start-ups would easily leverage affordable data hosting to enable growth in their businesses.

Furthermore, growth in the sector will also stem from collocation services. New off-shoot cloud hosting retail businesses will spring up due to the lower costs of set-up made available through collocation.
“This will evidently lead to more jobs creation. MDAs with little or no expertise or interest in ICT infrastructure can also outsource their applications and environment to these cloud stakeholders and take advantage of their collocation services. This will also ensure that some of the huge CAPEX expenses can be moved to OPEX thereby making budgets more manageable”, he added

He assured all Foreign Data Management Companies in Nigeria that the Federal Ministry of Communications is cognizant of the challenges of Power, Assets Security and Foreign Exchange Rate being faced by them; and is committed to working towards their quick resolution.

Shittu stressed that Ministry will also concomitantly continued to deliver on its obligations on data management security and economic by its guidance and support for government special purpose vehicles such as the Office for Nigerian Content (ONC) Development in ICT in the task of policy formulation and enforcement of the Guidelines enshrined in our policy frameworks.

Also speaking, the Acting Director General of Nigeria Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Vincent Olatunji stressed the need to diversify the nation’s economy through ICT and also focus on indigenous wealth creation.

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