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Nigeria Should Enforce Data Sovereignty – Ayotunde Coker

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Nigeria Should Enforce Data Sovereignty – Ayotunde Coker

Ayotunde Coker, chief executive officer of Open Access Data Centre (OADC) has argued that Nigeria is ripe to confidently enforce data sovereignty and local residency.

According to him, data centres in the country have evolved and Nigeria is also leading the African continent in terms of data protection laws and regulations.

Dr. Coker, a highly sought-after data centre pundit, made this submission at the third edition of the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) just organized in Lagos by Business Metrics Nigeria with the theme: ‘Establishing Trackable Metrics for Promoting Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecoms Sector.

According to him, promoting the indigenous content transcends just manufacturing, but also data, adding that this is where data sovereignty and residency come in.

Making case for his submission, Coker said: “So, locally, we can actually enjoy quality data centre service at a minimum standard, and we can drive beyond that.

“Already, we have infrastructures that mean people have no reason to host abroad, which means that Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and Data Sovereignty can now be confidently enforced.

Previously we had a lot of cloud services that people host elsewhere just because of practicalities. Whereas the rest of the world is doing data sovereignty to ensure their data do not leave the country and if you didn’t host your data within the country, there were data protection laws and they were enforced.

He stressed that the excuses people gave in the past for hosting data offshore are no longer tenable.

“People justify hosting data abroad by saying that the quality of data centres around here are not so good and so. Well, I’ve been on an eight-year quest around data centre capacity and capability in this country. I can say data centres in Nigeria are as good as minimum standard or better than anywhere else in the world.

“This is something we have done and it is good now to see that we are having improvement in the industry that is bringing other foreign investors in, that is driving the notion that data centre is not just Tier I, but that Tier III now is a standard that if you don’t do, you might not even go far.

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