President Muhammadu Buhari will stop the country’s data from being hosted overseas as soon as indigenous data centres have enough capacity locally to handle data generated within Nigeria.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, stated this during an official visit to Rack Centre, a Tier lll data centre in Lagos.
He said that if the local capacity could be met within a year from now, “the President will compel the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to host locally.”
Shittu said that Buhari was passionate about local data, saying, “As soon as we have capacity, all our data will be hosted within. We just have to be sure that we have capacity.”
He said there would be no challenge in implementing the local content policy, as the policy already specified that for data centre facilities available in the country, government agencies were duty bound to patronise them.
“It is easy, we have a local content policy that says that for every data centre facility available in Nigeria, industries and government agencies must patronise them and more especially when we have a facility like Rack Centre that can compete with any other in any part of the world,” the minister said.
Shittu said he was amazed at the “world-class” infrastructure at Rack Centre, adding that “I am happy that the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Ayotunde Coker, said that Rack Centre could compete with the best in the world.”
He said, “It is not logical for the Nigerian government or the private sector to keep patronising the foreign facilities. The plan we have agreed on is that once we have capacity; we will only resort to buying outside the shores only if the capacity is not there.”
Shittu said that the Buhari-led government was committed to creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
“As a government, we need to encourage all private investors that are investing in the Nigerian economy in a bid to ensure that Information Technology firms grow to satisfactory levels and contribute their fair share to the Gross Domestic Product.”