The Federal Government on Wednesday said it would support stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector to create and strengthen a national data ecosystem for sustainable development.
Mr Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications made this known at a news conference as part of activities to mark the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Big Data, for Big Impact’’ with focus on the power of Big Data for development.
According to him, the aim is to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context.
Shittu said the insight brought on by advanced data analysis was capable of complementing the evidence-based nature of decision-making that could be leveraged at local, national, regional and international levels.
He noted that it could also help to drive success toward attaining all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
According to him, this will enable data being generated to be captured, shared and analysed in innovative ways, thus increase the value of data and analytics in our development context process.
He said the ministry would encourage cross-sector, cross-agency and cross border data collaboration by developing unified standards for emerging data sources and data interoperability.
Shittu added that efforts were also being made to establish a data-driven decision making, service and operational efficiency culture by developing national policies and data strategies to promote open data and Big Data analytics to enhance data transparency and utility.
“Government is also poised to providing equitable data protection and strategies for information release, implement an inclusive and open process to foster privacy, security, public trust and ethical use of data involving a variety of stakeholders.
“Government will also support and scale up research and development in the sector to provide the opportunity for exploring the possibilities to leveraging big data for improving the national landscape for data education and training.
“This is in response to the increasing demand for both deep analytical talent and capacity for the broader areas; government will also ensure continuous international collaboration to foster innovation using Big Data.’’
Speaking on the effects of Big Data on businesses, the minister further said that the digital economy holds huge potential for entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He added that new digital trends such as cloud computing, mobile web services, smart grids, and social media were radically changing the business landscape, reshaping the nature of work, boundaries and responsibilities of business leaders.
According to Shittu, Big Data is the way to go in this age and the world is embracing it for insights and business value.
“Big Data can promote growth and increase efficiency and profitability across the entire telecom value chain.’’
He called on all stakeholders, government at all levels as well as concerned bodies to come up with stiff measure to address the various ongoing questionable acts taking place on the internet and in the sector.
In his message to mark the Day, Mr Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General, International Telecoms Union (ITU) called for a deliberate action by member nations to ignite a global dedication.
This he noted was to leverage the insights provided by Big Data for new opportunities to address development challenges
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that May 17 was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly to mark World Information Society Day.
The Day was to recognise the efforts being made to advance communication and ITU’s role in helping people connect around the world.
It is a day set aside to remind the world of the vision of the World Summit on the Information Society to build “a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society” based on fundamental human rights.
It also aims to raise awareness of how information and communication can be beneficial for societies and economies.