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FG to use big data, others to improve public administration

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Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami. Photo: TWITTER/ FMoCDENigeria

The Federal Government has expressed its commitment to use big data sources and other emerging technologies, to improve public administration and service delivery as well as create new job and business opportunities for the youth.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, who stated this during a virtual Stakeholders’ Engagement on the Draft Nigeria Mobile Big Data Policy, yesterday, added that the rapid evolution of data both as a critical raw material or infrastructure for Nigeria’s digital economy and a tool for accelerating multi-sector development caught the early attention of this administration.

Pantami noted that over the years, Nigeria’s wealth was mainly measured by its minerals and natural resources adding that the country is now moving into an era where her wealth will be measured by digital resources and innovations of Nigerians.

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He said: “We have depended on oil for decades so the expression ‘data is the new oil’ shows our focus on a paradigm shift, and is in line with the efforts of the Federal Government to diversify the economy. The restrictions that came as a result of the pandemic showed us the importance of digital resources to the sustenance of the economy and businesses. Furthermore, we will observe that the leading companies of today are not like the corporations of the past that focussed on natural resources. Rather, they are the Amazons, Googles, Facebooks and Microsofts of today, who have a high level of valuation primarily because they warehouse and process massive amounts of useful data.

“It has been widely accepted that a digital economy is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth for any economy. A focus on growing the national digital economy will also improve our traditional economy, and will enable us to get a slice of the Global Digital Economy, which Oxford Economics values at $11.5 trillion or approximately 16% of the global economy.

“This value is expected to grow significantly over the coming years. The World Economic Forum also predicts that over 60% of global GDP will be digitized by 2022, and that over the next decade, digital platforms will be used to create close to 70% of new value.”

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The Minister noted that the process for the discovery and processing of anonymized mobile data as a source of official statistics was initiated by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and approved by the National Council on Communications Technology (NCCT) in 2018.

It was thereafter implemented by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, while a national Technical Working Group was set up, comprising the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and other key institutions.

He continued: “Nigeria is not alone in identifying new opportunities from data. The United Nations is one of the global institutions that is exploring the use of mobile big data. The UN also recognized the availability of new data accumulated over the course of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. We recognize that data can be leveraged upon to support the development of government digital services platforms, as well as create new and valuable services across several sub-sectors, including FinTech, EdTech and Smart Agriculture, amongst others.  The potential is enormous, and we invite you all to support us in making this potential translate into real value.”

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Isa Ali PantamiNCCNITDA
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