By Ifeanyi Nwoko
A construction industry expert, Mr Temitope Runsewe has called for the establishment of more data centres and logistics parks within Nigeria to service both government and privately owned businesses.
Runsewe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, that the need for such centres had become even more necessary in view of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as existing government laws.
According to him, it was mandated by law for government establishments to store their data locally, pointing out that due to inadequacy of such centres, many of the agencies flout this law.
He defined data centres as physical facilities where (open) data can be stored and processed; saying they could be buildings or groups of buildings used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems.
Runsewe who is the Managing Director of Dutum Company Limited and a guest at the ongoing Real Estate Discussions and Awards conference, said that it was unfortunate that 70 per cent of Nigerian agencies stored data abroad.
“Although the need for building data centres has risen steadily across the globe, utilization of data centres in Nigeria has not surpassed 30 per cent.
“About 70 per cent of government MDAs still host data in countries like Israel, Ukraine, UK and the U.S. inspite of data localisation guidelines in the country,” he said.
He pointed out that companies like his were willing to partner with the government and other stakeholders across Africa to bring data centres coser to businesses.
He said that the aim was to help localise data storage and curb the flagrant disregard of government regulations on data storage.
“Guidelines by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) mandates all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to host their websites and other web services on a registered .gov.ng domain.
“It also mandated them to source network and Internet services for which there is local capacity from local service providers while ensuring that all government data is hosted locally within the country.
“However, breaches of these guidelines remain commonplace. This puts a lot of pressure on both the public and private sectors in Nigeria to not only focus on enforcing data localization laws, but to work together on providing data centres,” he said.
Runsewe also pointed out the need for the establishment of more logistics parks, saying that it will pave the way for other industries like equipment suppliers, construction companies, consultants and trucking companies.
He noted that the establishment of these parks have the added benefit of improving environmental quality by reducing the number of trucks on roads. (NAN)