Nigeria needs robust legislation to reap ICT benefits — Sanwo-Olu

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, called on the Senate to introduce robust legislation that would help Nigeria reap the benefits derivable from the digital revolution.

Sanwo-Olu made the call while receiving members of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Crime who paid him a courtesy visit in Lagos.

Representing the governor, the Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, described the absence of appropriate legislation as the bane of the international company setting up shop in Nigeria.

The governor said such legislation would enable ICT firms to set up an international data centre in Nigeria thereby attracting immense benefit of creating jobs.

He also urged the Senate Committee to prevail on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to develop telecom infrastructure in rural areas.

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According to him, Nigeria is home to the highest number of technology start-ups in Africa as many young Nigerians are doing great things that legislation will greatly enhance.

“We in Lagos clearly understood the need for science and technology; that is why we set up a full-fledged Ministry.

“We brought in knowledgeable people to establish and run it from the US and a supporting ICT masterplan has been put in place by the state.

“Also, Lagos is developing a 3000km fibre optic duct that can be leased to the private sector to forestall indiscriminate building of infrastructure by private people,” he said.

He said the state was working on ‘’Digital Photoing’’ for the police to free up space occupied by vehicles kept around their premises as evidence.

He added that there was a need to review the court proceeding and allow electronic evidence.

Sanwo-Olu said the state government was positively disposed to the plans to host a conference on ICT and Cybercrime planned by the Committee.

Earlier, the Leader of the delegation and Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, Sen Yakubu Oseni, said that government was concerned about the threat of Cybercrime, especially as Nigeria had weak systems epitomised by the country’s bottom position in the capacity index.

Oseni said the outlook for Nigeria in the digital space necessitated the articulation and rapid development in digital technology.

The senator urged state governments to embrace the use of technology as well as participate in the training programme for indigenes that the committee was planning.

He said that the committee was organising an international stakeholders conference in June to identify gaps inherent in the system and generate appropriate synergy in the relationships of stakeholders.

Oseni said the conference was planned with a view to ensuring consistency and complementarity and articulating a structured approach to resolving Nigeria’s digital technology shortfalls and cybersecurity challenges.

Present at the courtesy visit were Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Odejayi.


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