NITDA warns on hosting official data outside Nigeria

Isa Ibrahim, Director General NITDA
Isa Ibrahim, Director General NITDA

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned government agencies from hosting public data on cybers and clouds outside Nigeria.

In a statement signed by the agency’s director general, Isa Ibrahim, NITDA said though government data is substantially hosted locally, some agencies still host their data outside the country.

“It should be noted that the government considers the data of government as national resources which must be stored in Nigeria and analysed within existing regulations for improvement of governance and development of the country.”

The statement said violators of the guidelines would be sanctioned in accordance with the agency’s enabling laws.

Full text of the statement below:

NITDA calls for strict compliance with guidelines on hosting government data

The management of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would like to bring to the attention of Federal Public Institutions, IT Service Providers to the Federal Government and all data management firms doing business in Nigeria on the need for strict compliance with Section 14 of the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT. This section provides a framework for repatriation and hosting of all Nigerian government data within the country.

The Agency notes that prior to the operation and full implementation of the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, a sizeable component of Government data was hosted outside Nigeria. The situation has now changed as NITDA’s compliance monitoring activity revealed that substantial data assets of the Federal Government are already hosted in Nigeria. These include the Government Integrated and Financial ManagementInformation System (GIFMIS), Integrated Tax System (ITAS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), and more recently the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has been repatriated and is now hosted within the country in line with the Guidelines.

We, however, wish to note that a small fraction of government data is still hosted outside Nigeria without the approval of the Agency. We understand that for some Federal Public Institutions, consideration of cost and other technicalities may have affected the full repatriation of government data. In these cases, NITDA is to be notified promptly as Government has set measures in place to commence sanctioning of violators in line with the provisions of the NITDA Act 2007 and the other relevant laws in Nigeria. It should be noted that the Government considers the data of government as national resources which must be stored in Nigeria and analyzed within existing regulations for improvement of governance and development of the country.

Consequently, Data Centers and Cloud Service Providers operating in Nigeria are hereby advised to comply with requirements of information security management, global best practices, standards and NITDA’s directives on quality customer service. Furthermore, Data Hosting Service Providers are required to register their competencies and capabilities in line with the requirements of the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT to ensure adequate oversight and compliance with all necessary standards to protect data of Nigerian citizens and Government.

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a, b & c) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; and render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors.

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