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Nigeria seeks fair share of $1.7tn global data economy


The National Information Technology Development Agency says that Nigeria can get a fair share of the global data economy valued at more than $1.7tn, if it adopts and faithfully implements the National Smart Initiative Policy Framework.

In a draft copy of the policy obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, NITDA said that the policy would also help the country to resolve security and unemployment challenges.

In the framework, NITDA said, “Core to the adoption and use of smart solutions to address global challenges is the data they generate and the potential value of such data. The value of data in today’s digital economy cannot be over-emphasised.

“The data economy report by Digital Reality in 2018 showed that data contribute more than $1.7tn to the world’s seven richest economies. Further, International Data Corporation, a market-research firm, predicts that data monetisation will become a major source of income.

“Nigeria is at a critical stage where it needs informed and properly analysed data to take decisions on how best to tackle its ever-increasing national challenges, which includes corruption challenges, diversification and growth of its economy, insecurity and terrorism challenges, job creation and youth empowerment.

“Thus, to tackle these national challenges like other advanced nations, the Nigerian government requires real-time access to data as well as the ability to process, analyse and extract insight from such data to make informed decisions.”

The agency said that the need for the country to resolve its security, unemployment and corruption challenges, as well as the need to fix the economy and manage its resources efficiently and other national challenges, presented strong opportunities for smart initiatives.

According to the agency, real-time traffic, energy and resource data will enable public organisations to intervene and manage public resources in direct response to normal operation and external factors such as accidents, weather, over-utilisation and other constantly changing citizen demands.

With timely access to data and information flow, better planning and forecasting become the standard, more effective deployment and management of resources become a reality, thus yielding savings and better service delivery, it added.

“The adoption of smart initiatives in a holistic manner becomes necessary as it will help to ensure that deliberate decisions and actions are made across the smart value chain. It will give rise to new market, business models, and services to promote data and digital economy,” NIDTA said in the framework.

It added that the initiative would also attract foreign investment opportunities and give the private sector the opportunity to participate in the industry.

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