MDAs urged to embrace Open Data Initiative

Na'ankwat Dariem 


The Nigerian  Ministry of Communications has urged Ministries, Department and Agencies, at all levels of government to key into the Open Data Nigeria Initiative.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Musa Istifanus, stated this in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state at the Open Data Conference for South, South Zone.

Represented by the Director of Planning Research and Statistics, Dr. Nonye Nwachukwu, Mr. Istifanus said, for Nigeria to become an integral part of data revolution, there is the need to embrace open data initiative and digital literacy of its citizens.

Istifanus explained that MDAs play a significant role in the implementing the Open Data Nigeria Initiative.

“Ministries Department and Agencies,  have an important role to play in the development and operation of MDAs on Open Data web pages to interface with the central portal and continuous digitization and uploading of high priority data sets in accordance with format that will agreed by this forum,” he noted.

While emphasising on the theme of the Conference tagged ‘Public Data Resources: A way forward for Digital Economy’, he said was designed to build capacity of the supply side of the Open Data initiative and to promote the Open Data Action Plan.

He said: “The essence of this forum is to enable stakeholders brainstorm on the Review and Validation of Open Data Policy document for approval by Federal Executive Council (FEC)in line with the prescripts of the extant National ICT Policy which the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy began the process of implementing the Open data Initiative in 2012, and since then consideration of the progress has been recorded,” he said.

Mr. Istifanus stressed that  Data can only be effective and valuable when it is being used to solve problems or create opportunities for people.

The Permanent Secretary noted: “The 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 tor economic growth and the advancement of transparency and accountability in the delivery of services,” Mr Istifanus explained.

The conference is 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 state and North West at Kano state.