The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi, has said that in light of recent advancements in Information Technology and the shift in the global economy paradigm necessitated the reimagination for the establishment of NITDA.
Abdullahi in a statement issued by the Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, said that the Agency has therefore commenced the process of repealing and re-enacting the NITDA Act, 2007.
According to him, since the enactment of the NITDA Act 2007, NITDA has operated as the catalytic Government Agency for developing and regulating the Information Technology sector stressing that the need to repeal the existing Act became necessary with the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which effectively replaced the Nigerian National IT Policy, 2000.
He said: “We identified the need to update NITDA’s legal framework for regulating and developing a digital economy for Nigeria. The Agency’s current establishment law is outdated. It cannot meet the needs and requirements for supporting a digital economy as well as effectively protect the rights and interests of stakeholders in the digital world.”
Abdullahi further explained that the review of the NITDA Act 2007 would help address contemporary digital issues, revamp Nigeria’s economy, build trust and protect the rights and interests of players in the ecosystem.
He also said that the repealed Act would was needed for a more agile and practical approach to regulations, standards-setting, and guidelines development for the country, with a focus on digital and emerging technologies, cannot be overemphasised.
“The proposed NITDA Bill aims to create a regulatory framework to accelerate Nigeria into the digital economy and substantially catalyse prosperity. This will include promoting and implementing policies that support indigenous content, access to digital services, investments in the sector, adoption of emerging technologies, innovation, research and development, with a particular focus on the rights of citizens and national interest”, he stated.
The NITDA boss expressed hope that NITDA, “as the apex regulator of the IT sector, will leverage the proposed NITDAs Bill to extensively engage with crucial IT stakeholders and protect its stakeholders’ interests in the best possible way.”
While counting on the support of Nigerians towards the successful passage of the Bill and eventual signing into law, Abdullahi said that as an accountable Agency, NITDA assures Information Technology sector stakeholders as well as the general public that the process will be transparent and subjected to comprehensive stakeholder engagements.