NITDA’s boss, Dr Isa Pantami, decries non utilization of Nigerian internet service point

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The Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency,(NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has called for the utilization of the Nigerian Internet Service Point for proper regulation of the internet service in the country.

Dr. Pantami while expressing his dismay on non-utilization of the Internet service point at the Galaxy Backbone headquarters in Abuja said this gave room for many illegal online news, radio and television stations across the country.

Pantami
Officials of NITDA and Galaxy Backbone during the working visit

He said:  “It is our collective responsibility to respect the Nigeria internet service point in order to coordinate the activities of internet users in the country. Many illegal online radio and television stations that have sprung up today is due to non-utilization of this point.  Most of these online radio and television stations are being abused, used to canvass for agitations and causing disunity in the country, he added.”

Also in the official release made available by NITDA’s Head, Corporate Affairs & External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, the agency’s boss called for service improvement on the part of the service providers. Pantami urged Galaxy Backbone to prevail on other service providers to adopt various policies of NITDA in the discharge of their services.

He said, “recently we got report from some Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) complaining of poor quality of service and as the regulator of IT in the country, I personally issued a press release on this and we are hoping that service would soon improve,”

“Charity they say begins at home.  We are using this visit to also urge you to build on your achievements. We are proud of your recent achievement on the attainment of the ISO 2000 Certification. It is our collective success and I believe we can still do better because there is always room for improvement.

While advocating for the local hosting of data, Dr. Pantami said the recent event that made Microsoft establish a data centre in South Africa is regrettable adding that NITDA is working assiduously to forestall future occurrence of such an action.

“We are seriously putting in place a strong data protection policy that would put a stop to such actions. It will also aim at motivating service providers to host data locally. The issue of data sovereignty is also critical; we are talking with some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to bring back their data to Nigeria. Some of them have come to our office and we gave them the time frame to achieve this because it is secure, reliable and available for us to host our data locally,” he said.

Reiterating the need for collaboration between NITDA and Galaxy Backbone, Dr Pantami said it has become more compelling for the two organisations to strengthen the existing relationship between them because of the very wide scope of the ICT sector as no single agency can do it alone. His words: “We need to support each other, strengthen our relationship and advise ourselves on how to move the industry forward and deliver on our mandates to Nigerians.”

On his part, the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, agreed that there is still a lot to be done in the country’s ICT sector which he said calls for collaborations among stakeholders. While acknowledging that ICT is the greatest catalyst to development and Nigeria needs to move faster to catch up with technologically developed countries, he said training in standards and frameworks is highly recommended for people to catch up with the trend in ICT.

Mr. Kazaure informed the gathering that NITDA, as a custodian of ICT in the country, should champion the call for hosting of data locally assuring that Galaxy Backbone has the infrastructure to host data locally. “We are keen to make use of the infrastructure but there is need to build capacity.”

On data centre and cloud service, Mr. Kazaure said Galaxy Backbone was already working with Original Equipment Manufacturers, (OEMs) to comply with how to keep data in Nigeria and the recent ISO 2000 Certification was part of the efforts to ensure that the company provides world class services to Nigeria, adding:” we are very willing to adopt standards created by NITDA. We will act as the laboratory to test these standards and frameworks so other service providers can emulate same procedures.”


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