IT Clearance Process saved Nigeria over N22bn – Pantami

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has said the enforcement of Information Technology Clearance Process of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) saved Nigeria over N22.45bn.

The minister, at a press conference heralding the 20th anniversary of NITDA on Monday, expressed satisfaction with the country’s achievement in the process.

He noted that one of the policy thrusts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was anti-corruption war, stressing that the process was one of the strategic areas where corruption had been fought in federal public institutions.

According to him, in the country, there is high level of integrity in the process.

He said, “Today, you cannot release data publicly unnecessarily. Nigeria is the giant of Africa, not only in the Gross Domestic Product and population, but also in data protection and data privacy. Many African countries are making reference to Nigeria’s data protection and data privacy while trying to come up with their own draft data protection regulation. NITDA has also achieved a lot in the area of capacity building for youths, women, people with disabilities and all strata of people in the country.

“The Federal Government, in appreciation of the work of NITDA, approved a new condition of service and the career structure to encourage the staff of the agency. In April 2012, there was a recommendation by the Stephen Oronsaye committee to scrap NITDA; but today, no one is talking about scrapping the agency. The present discussion is how to give additional responsibilities to the agency. This is a significant change, taking an institution from the position of whether it deserves to exist to the position where the agency is one of the most effective, efficient and most performing agency in the country. The sector pulled the country out of recession.”

The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, noted that the enforcement of the IT Clearance Process started in December 2016.

“Similarly, with the release of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, NITDA has created a new industry, stimulated new business models, and empowered thousands of Nigerians through capacity building and skills development. We licensed 72 Data Protection Compliance Organisations, created over 2,686 new job roles in the industry, developed a new data protection sector valued at around N2.2bn. The agency has also successfully investigated and issued data breach fines to many organisations, including public institutions. More importantly, other countries are looking up to the agency for guidance on Data Protection Regulation,” he said.

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