While hosting Mr. Surendran Chemmenkotil, the Managing Director/CEO of Airtel Nigeria, and his management team on a courtesy visit to the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General of NITDA, presented this plan.
NITDA’s policy, according to Inuwa, is not intended to impede innovation or impose restrictions on firms, but rather to level the playing field for new ideas to flourish.
“IT is dynamic, it is changing; new things are emerging; we must be imaginative in the way we regulate,” he added, adding that “our regulation is not to place unnecessary obstacles in the business environment, but to make it simpler.”
In business, the government’s duty is to act in terms of policy and infrastructure in underserved and unserved populations. We all understand the critical role data plays nowadays, as well as what is going on throughout the world with campaigns on data privacy, surveillance capitalism, and so on, according to the NITDA DG.
He went on to say that it’s not only about gathering data; it’s also about how it’s used. The focus on data privacy is to encourage individuals to be aware and ethical, with the understanding that these data belong to people and should be effectively secured.
While briefing his visitors on potential areas of collaboration, Inuwa revealed that NITDA has a number of projects aimed at kindling activity in the technological ecosystem.
“We’re doing a lot around digital literacy and digital entrepreneurship, which allows data providers to use digital devices to enhance income,” he said.
He added that the goal of NITDA is to bring innovation to existing and emerging resources, uncover new markets, and establish non-consumer market values in order to create shared incentives that keep both parties in business.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has set a goal of achieving 95 percent digital literacy by 2030, according to the NITDA boss.
Mr. Ibrahim Umar, the Agency’s Director of Finance, praised Airtal for paying its annual fee of 1% earnings before tax to the Information Technology Fund, which is typically collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Dr. Vincent Olatunji, the National Commissioner of the Nigerian Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), stated in his speech that data protection is a global concern.
“There isn’t much we can accomplish these days without going online.” “Every element of our lives is getting digitized, and data is at the heart of it,” he continued.
The Federal Government of Nigeria recognized this many years before, but the NDPR was released in 2019, which was a significant step forward. “We are pleased to report that Airtel is one of the few corporations that has constantly followed regulations, and we congratulate you on this,” he added.
He also disclosed that the Bureau was founded by the NDPR. Mr. President graciously approved the establishment of the Bureau around three weeks ago, based on the recommendation of Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
He stated that the Bureau would be taking a number of initiatives in the near future, particularly in the area of capacity building, which is critical to the development of IT.
He emphasized that data protection is a global concern, and that whatever capacity we have in Nigeria will be equivalent in any other country.
He recommended that Airtel establish a data protection team to oversee data and advise management on what should be done in terms of awareness, capability, organizational, and technological steps to guarantee that Nigerians’ data is effectively protected.
Finally, he urged Airtel executives to notify the Bureau of any data security breaches within 72 hours.
The Managing Director/CEO of Airtel Nigeria expressed his delight at the scope of work done by NITDA, particularly in accordance with the NDPR.