NITDA approves 5 ICT regulatory guidelines to boost economy

THE National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has approved five regulatory guidelines to improve service delivery in the sector and boost the nation’s economy.

The approved guidelines were presented to the public at a news conference addressed by Dr Isa Pantami, the Director General of NITDA last week in Abuja.

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State was the special guest at the event attended by critical stakeholders in the information technology sector.

The guidelines, all amended, include Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communications, Nigeria e-Government Inter-operability Framework (Ne-GIF) and Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV).

Others are Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) and Framework and Guidelines for ICT Adoption in Tertiary Institutions.

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Pantami, during the presentation of the guidelines, said the agency’s regulatory documents were developmental and not intended to indict stakeholders in the industry.

Pantami recalled that the agency had on January 25 signed off five regulatory guidelines, adding that the newly-approved ones would consolidate the older and ensure the agency remains relevant in regulating the ICT industry

He said that the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, as amended was launched in 2013 and required review to be dynamic to the trends of the ICT industry.

“There are new opportunities emerging in the ICT industry and the maiden guideline was meant to be reviewed after five years.

“We have amended it and through the implementation of this guideline, we were able to develop the local ICT industry better, which ensure it made contribution to our Gross Domestic Product.

“The amended guidelines are focused on accelerating the development of indigenous skills, technology transfer, use of indigenous manpower and local manufacturing,” he said.

Pantami said that with the implementation of the guideline, the patronage of indigenous computers increased from 82,000 in 2013 to 356,000 in 2017.

He underscored the need for priority attention to be given to indigenous products, to encourage local innovators to produce what the country needs and for the citizens to consume what we produce.

On the Ne-GIF, Pantami said most public institutions’ activities were being automated and required connectivity, which would save the government cost.

He recalled that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the government was saving N24 billion monthly.

The DG added that the agency already has a governing body in place and measures are being taken to implement the guideline to ensure government institutions interact.

He said that the NIIEV enables young innovators, ICT startups to thrive, adding that it would strengthen the Nigerian technology ecosystem.

“It consists of digital infrastructure development, education reform, skills development, Research and Development as well as support for ICT entrepreneurship ecosystem innovation,” he said.

Pantami said they were engaging stakeholders to collectively identify challenges in the ecosystem and proffer solutions to them.