NIGERIA NEEDS APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT – HAMZAT

A call has gone to the Nigerian Senate to introduce robust legislation, if Nigeria is to reap the benefits derivable from the digital revolution.

Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat made the call while receiving members of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Crime who paid him a courtesy visit in his Ikeja office today.

The Deputy Governor described the absence of appropriate legislation as the bane of the international company setting up shop in Nigeria, adding that with such legislation an international data centre could be set up in Nigeria and, thereby, attract an immense benefit of creating jobs.

While urging the leadership of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Crime to prevail on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to develop infrastructure in local areas, Dr. Hamzat observed that non-legislation has denied Nigeria the benefit of combating such crime as kidnapping.

He said Nigeria is home to the highest number of technology start-ups in Africa, adding that many young Nigerians are doing great things that legislation will greatly enhance.

In his words “we in Lagos State clearly understood the need for science and technology; that is why we set up a full-fledged Ministry in Y2002.  We brought in knowledgeable people to establish and run it from the US”.

While noting that a supporting ICT masterplan has been put in place by the State, he said Lagos is developing a 3000km fibreoptic duct that can be leased to the private sector to forestall indiscriminate building of infrastructure by private people, stressing that GDP is tied to ICT penetration and that present penetration is less than 35% in Nigeria.

He said the state is already working on “Digital Photoing” for the Police to free up space occupied by vehicles kept around their premises as evidence, emphasising the need to review the court procedure to allow electronic evidence.

Assuring the Senate Committee of the State’s readiness to partner them on the training of Nigerians, Hamzat said the State Government is positively disposed to the plans to host a conference on ICT and Cybercrime planned by the Committee.

Earlier, the Leader of the delegation and Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yakubu Oseni expressed the Committee’s concern about the threat of cybercrime, especially as Nigeria has weak systems epitomised by being ranked lowest in the capacity index.

He said the outlook of Nigeria in the digital space necessitates the articulation and rapid development in digital technology.

Oseni urged governments at the State level to embrace the use of technology as well as participate in the training programme being planned for indigenes by the Committee, hinting that an international stakeholders’ conference is planned for June 2020.

Top government officials present during the courtesy visit include the Secretary to the State Government – Mrs. Folashade Jaji; Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Yetunde Odejayi amongst others.