The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on Thursday, February 25, proposed the amendment of its 2097 Act before the National Assembly, to suit the digital economy policy agenda and emerging technologies.
Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA, said in a presentation before the lawmakers in Abuja that the technology-driven world was filled with promises and also challenges.
Inuwa said there was a need for the agency to remain dynamic, with the trend of accelerating changes within the IT ecosystem, hence the need to review the ‘NITDA ACT 2007’.
He emphasised that the review became necessary following President Muhammadu Buhari’s transformation agenda and the adoption of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) in 2019.
“This era is marked by advancement in digital transformation and artificial intelligence.
“Mckinsey Global Institute’s latest report on the future of work reveals that digitisation, new technologies coming in will mean that jobs, skills, and wages will displace 20,000 million jobs by the year 2030.
“Keeping up with the global pace has compelled the need to urgently mutate and realign the current NITDA Act 2007 to meet the present outlook of the emerging technology, in order to secure a place for Nigeria in the emerging global digital economy and Fourth industrial revolution,” he said.
He urged the lawmakers to become pivotal to the 2021 NITDA Act that would position Nigeria into becoming a leading digital economy in Africa and a major player in the global arena.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrimes, Sen. Yakubu Oseni, in his remarks, affirmed that the ICT revolution had accelerated the pace of globalisation.
Oseni promised that his committee would work assiduously, with the house committee and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure accelerated passage of the new amendment act for NITDA.
“The world has moved into the blazing digital ecosystem, accelerating at the speed of light, with very effective and disruptive innovation and models, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Robotics, Machine learning, Cloud C
“There is a need to raise the bar for digital readiness, in order to benefit from the unending economic and developmental opportunities that it presents,” he said.
He commended NITDA for improving its digital space and pledged the support of his committee to the actualization of passing the bill into law.
Hon. Abubakar Lado, the Chairman, House of Representative Committee on ICT, said the importance of making all necessary amendments with regards to enacting an enabling law for NITDA, as the regulatory IT agency of the country, was long overdue.
Lado said, “in a sector where technology changes almost every minute, the legislation should be robust enough to accommodate the nature of the ecosystem.”
He also promised the support of his committee in the passing of the NITDA Amendment bill into law.