Learner’s Submission: Data Accessibility and Vital Information Management Legislation in Nigeria – Myth, Mirage and a Must

” ABSTRACT

The use and benefits of Data Accessibility cannot be overemphasized in this contemporary world, where information and communication management is fast becoming the appropriate/fundamental framework/foundation for good governance, policy/decision making, mass information dissemination, business transactions,e-learning,social-media communication and many others in both developed, developing and even underdeveloped economies.

Therefore, in this respect, it would be expedient for any country to strictly comply/adhere to any globally recognized/approved/endorsed policy, standards, framework or guides/guidelines after every necessary fundamental hardware, software and institutional/governmental requirements have been met.

INTRODUCTION

Data Accessibility and vital information protection/security management is fast becoming a global issue because of the fundamental application/utilization of ICT and allied hardware,software(applications) and humanware.

Such global issue because of the successful application/deployment in developed/developing economies thus makes it a must for other nations/economies like Nigeria to develop,design and deploy such relevant/vital framework/guidelines by a formal legislation of bill or acts that will enforce compliance.

It is the intention of this author to address the issue wholistically and proactively by enumerating the needs,requirements,impacts/effects and benefits with some useful recommendations for all concerned stakeholders.

EFFECTS/IMPACTS: The impacts or socio-economic and techno-political effects of inadequate or non-availability of any known legislations that protects the fundamental human rights to access vital data/information and also protects such data/information from any unauthorized person(s) can be highlighted below:

  • Abuse of data/information
  • Access to very important personal, security, policy and related data/information by unauthorized data/information
  • Increased cyber and associated crimes/social vices
  • Increased economic losses of business intelligence data/information
  • Encourage unethical hacking

REQUIREMENTS:For data accessibility/protection to be legislated and for  the expected benefits to be derived,the following basic/fundamental requirements must be met.These are:

  • Availability of adequate/proper, secured technical infrastructural/hardware/facilities
  • Availability of competent/qualified data stewards/experts, Data Governance Experts and Information Management Professionals
  • Evidence for Financial/Technical Supports from International Agencies/Donors and Sponsors
  • Proper and well formulated friendly data accessibility policy for legislation

BENEFITS

The following are benefits to be derived if a data accessibility/ protection is legislated by the government:

  • Promote, enhance and attract investment decision making/FD investors
  • Enhance policy formulation, development and legislation
  • Enhance Information Architecture framework that will resultantly promote proper information management
  • A good framework to ensure best practices for transparent e-governance
  • Promote socio-economic, political and infrastructure planning/ development of the country
  • Enhance resource allocation/development
  • Promote compliance to international best practices data accessibility/legislation that does not discriminate/infringe on Human rights
  • Ensure vital information is secured, safe and accessed by legitimate person(s)
  • Ensure that data/information that are gender-biased, or one that can incite religious crisis or pornographic-laden information are adequately censored before disseminated to the appropriate audience
  • Assist in combating cyber crimes, vices, scandals and abuse of information usage especially from the social media

RECCOMMENDATIONS

  • Increased public awareness and sensitization via the print,electronic and electronic social media
  • The government should seek for assistance from both foreign/international bodies/donor agencies for technical,Human capacity development,financial and political supports to enhance/facilitate the enactment of data accessibility/protection bills
  • The Nigerian government at all levels should embark on a strategic mass/public education/enlightenment campaigns
  • The private sectors come up with a strategic/development plan that is viable,feasible,sustainable and people-oriented proactive approaches/programmes.Such sectors should be those directly concerned/affected and responsible for a  should

The government of Nigeria should accelerate the legislation of the proposed/allied  bills  so that all the attendant socio-economic and techno-political benefits(tangible and non-tangible) benefits can be realized,achieved and optimized.” – Olumide Idowu – Lagos, Nigeria

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