The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has drawn the attention of Information Technology sector stakeholders and the general public to a proposed bill aimed at repealing and re-enacting the NITDA Act, 2007 to develop “stakeholder-led robust regulatory architecture”
According to a statement issued yesterday by the head, corporate affairs and External Relations of the Agency, Hadiza Umar, the process will engage all the stakeholders in the efforts to ensure that Nigeria benefits maximally from the global digital economy
She said 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.
She said that considering the importance of the NITDA proposed bill it will be presented to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill after the necessary processes.
It added that since the enactment of the NITDA Act 2007, the agency has operated as the catalytic Government Agency for developing and regulating the Information Technology sector.
It said in light of recent advancements in Information Technology and the shift in the global economy paradigm, the NDEPS was envisioned to “transform Nigeria into a leading digital economy, providing quality life and digital economies for all”.
“This current reality has necessitated the reimagination for the establishment of NITDA. It is a known fact that digital technologies have created new forms of economic activities that have been beneficial to the global economy.
“However, these digital technologies comes with their promises and perils such as cybercrimes, privacy invasion and other social problems. This necessitates the need to proactively manage their adoption through the development of a stakeholder-led robust regulatory architecture to enable Nigeria to maximise the benefits of such technologies and mitigate the negative consequences.
“Therefore, the need 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 overemphasized,” the agency said.
It reiterated the need to update NITDA’s legal framework for regulating and developing a digital economy for Nigeria, saying that the Agency’s current establishment law is outdated.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.
“The review of the NITDA Act 2007 aims to address contemporary digital issues, revamp Nigeria’s economy, build trust and protect the rights and interests of players in the ecosystem,” the statement added.