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Nigeria Must Embrace Open Data to Be Globally Competitive – Minister

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Nigeria Must Embrace Open Data to Be Globally Competitive – Minister

Ali Pantami

Aminat Isah, Abuja

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami says Nigeria must embrace Open Data initiative for growth purpose and become globally competitive.

The Minister stated this at the occasion of South-South zone of the Nigerian Open Data Conference held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Open Data Initiative involves the putting online of non-sensitive government information such as Agricultural prices, vehicle registration, data online as a national resource in machine readable, reusable and accessible formats for economic growth and the advancement of transparency and accountability in the delivery of services.

The Minister who was represented by the Director of Planning Research and Statistics of the Ministry, Dr. Mrs. Nonye Nwachukwu explained that for Nigeria to become an integral part of the ongoing data revolution, there is a need to embrace Open Data Initiative and improve data literacy of its citizenry, especially now that data is the single most important driver of innovation in the 21st century.

” In era when data is driving innovation, it is only imperative for Nigeria to key into the trend to become relevant in the global community.

‘‘Data in the 21st century is the single most Important driver of innovation, competiveness and growth, therefore, for Nigeria to become integral part of data revolution there is the need to embrace Open Data Initiative and improve data literacy of its citizenry, Data is only valuable when it is being used to solve a problem or create opportunities for people,’’ he added.

The minister also said, the theme of the South South zone Conference “Public Data Resources: A Way forward for Digital Economy” was designed to build capacity of the supply side of the Open Data initiative and to share information on the Open Data Action Plan.

He further said the essence of the forum, was to enable Stakeholders brainstorm on the Review and validation of Open Data Policy Document for approval by Federal Executive Council (FEC).

He pointed out that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy had since begun the process of implementing the Open Data Initiative in 2012, in line with the prescripts of the extant National ICT policy, and since then considerable progress has been recorded.

Pantami noted that, for there to be a proper implementation of Open Data Nigeria Initiative, Ministries, Departments and Agencies have an important role to play, including development and operation of MDAs Open Data web pages to interface with central data.gov.ng portal and continuous digitization and uploading of high priority data sets in accordance with format that will be agreed by the conference.

The Conference was designed to cover the six geo-political of the Country. So far, the Ministry had conducted the Open Data Conference in the South East at Enugu and North West at Kano, where Stakeholders enriched the document contributions.

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