• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Stakeholders support call for firms to host data in-country

Data-cloud

Major ICT stakeholders including the management of MainOne’s Tier III Data Centre, MDX-I, are lending voice to the call by the Office for Nigerian Content in Information and Communication Technology for Nigerian companies to host their data in-country, to avoid further foreign exchange losses.

Speaking at the first annual summit on Data Localisation, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) through the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC), Vremudia Oghene-Ruemu, MainOne’s Data Centre product manager, highlighted the benefits of hosting Nigerian data in-country, not only in terms of foreign exchange conservation, cost reduction, job creation and increase in tax revenues to government, but also underscored the security risks attendant in hosting sensitive data off-shore.

Oghene-Ruemu, in his presentation on “Local Infrastructural Capacity for Data Hosting,” noted that the increased adoption of ICT and in particular E-Government, E-Commerce and E-Banking, had made data hosting inevitable, but decried the practice where Federal MDAs and large Nigerian businesses host their servers offshore, which exposed them to huge security risks, in addition to revenue losses resulting from capital flight to international companies.

He said the conference on Data Localisation would not have come at a more auspicious time, as regulatory policies constrain businesses from sourcing foreign exchange as easily as they had in the past to effect payments to offshore vendors, and noted that the commercial data centres in Nigeria now offered world-class capacity to meet those requirements.

According to Oghene-Ruemu, “There is nothing available in offshore facilities that Nigerian Data Centres do not have. Nigeria has circa 5000sqm in Tier III DC space, certified by various international organisations. Our carrier neutral data centre, MDX-I is not only Tier III and PCI DSS certified; it also has ISO 9001 and 27001 certifications, and offers 99.982 percent availability, in addition to multiple layers of security. We are currently the largest in West Africa, and recently received the Frost and Sullivan award for providing advanced Data Centre Infrastructure in West Africa.”

He re-affirmed the comments of the national coordinator of ONC, Inye Kemabonta that data was the currency of an information society and lifeblood of any nation, and urged for policies to ensure that the country’s intellectual property was adequately secured.