Data has become a major factor of production but for it to be a source of wealth, it needs to be secured, says the Director General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
This was contained in the DG’s keynote address titled: “how to achieve 30% growth in local cloud hosting by 2024” delivered at a Technology Forum organized by the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) in Lagos on Thursday.
Speaking through the Head of South West Zonal Office, NITDA, Mrs Chioma Okee-Aguguo, he said that not only is data’s security paramount but also its sovereignty must be guaranteed.
Abdullahi said while cloud computing offers other services such as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), Software as a service (SaaS), one of the common cloud computing services is the hosting service.
Cloud hosting, he said, provides the opportunities for 100% resource utilization as resources are evenly distributed over several server and cost control due to elasticity of services where pricing depends on services consumption. “You are 100 % in control”, the DG expressed.
Continuing, the DG recalled that the big data analytics market is set to reach $103 billion by 2023.
- In 2019, the big data market grew by 20%.
- In 2020, every person-generated 1.7 megabytes in just a second and Internet users generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day.
He added that organizations are investing in data and its management.
Explaining how NITDA is working in this direction, Abdullahi said “You may be aware that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) mandate is to regulate and develop the IT sector of Nigeria, an integral part of our economy. Central to this mandate is securing our data both cooperate and individual.
“I am glad to inform you that NITDA has initiated several policies and programs to ensuring data sovereignty and integrity. We introduced the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation in 2019.
“The successes of the regulations are there for all to see. Also, we developed the Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) to promote “Cloud First” as a proposition to Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and SMEs as an efficient way of acquiring and deploying computing resources for better and improved quality of digital services.
“The role of the Government is to enable the environment for private and corporate bodies to invest in local hosting services, the building of more data centres.
“There has been a considerable increase in the number of cloud services providers in Nigeria. The big names are here, I don’t want to mention names of companies so that I would not be accused of bias as a regulator”, he said.
NITDA seeks further partnership with NITRA:
The DG expressed NITDA’s satisfaction with the initiative of NITRA for organizing the Technology Forum.
“We are happy to be part of this year’s edition. We expect more of this kind of activities and we are always willing to collaborate with stakeholders we are always willing to work with stakeholders to address their pain point to make sure we create enabling environment for cloud services to thrive in Nigeria.
“We believe with strategic partnership and collaboration, our combined effort will enhance efficient and cheap cloud hosting in Nigeria to serve, therefore, as a model for other African countries to adopt”.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Chairman of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), Chike Onwuegbuchi, said that the theme: “Achieving 30% Growth In Local Cloud Hosting By 2024”, was carefully selected to enable stakeholders in the information and Communications Technology to discuss issues that will bring growth and development to the sector.
“This edition”, he said, “we are looking at local cloud hosting a very important aspect of technological development.
“Cloud computing has been described as the greatest game changer since the creation of the internet and is one of the fastest growing areas of technology today. It can be simply defined as renting time on a computing infrastructure over the internet, rather than building your own from the ground up. In a way, it could be described as outsourcing your computer infrastructure.
“Cloud computing offers scalability and reliability that cannot be matched by a single enterprise.
“Today, we are talking of data protection. How can you protect data that is warehoused outside of our shores?
“Local cloud hosting also helps to keep our local internet traffic local as local content providers host their content in-country.
He also recalled that NITDA in 2019 launched Nigeria’s Cloud computing policy and one of the goals of this Policy is to ensure a 30% increase in adoption of cloud computing by 2024 among Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and SMEs that provide digital-enabled services to the government.
“The policy also targets 35% growth in cloud computing investments by 2024. It is on this that we selected the theme of today’s event.
“When we are talking about local cloud hosting we can’t achieve it if we don’t patronize local datacenters; this informed the presences of datacentre operators in this discourse.
The Forum attracted industry stakeholders including corporate organisations; Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA); Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN); Cloudflex; Layer3; Vintage Confluence LLC and industry associations – ALTON, ATCON, NCS, amongst others.