Govt may compel MDAs to host data locally for content development
Indications have emerged that the Federal Government may compel Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to host their data locally in the country.
Apart from ensuring adequate security for information, it will also be an opportunity to curb the growing capital flight that results from such exercise.
However, this is still subject to the ability of the country’s relevant resources having enough capacity to handle data generated within the country.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who disclosed this in Lagos, during his visit to Rack Centre, a Tier III Data Centre, stressed that he was passionate about local data and “and as soon as we have capacity, all our data will be hosted within, I just want to be sure we have capacity.”
Shittu said if the local capacity could be met within a year from now, the government would compel MDAs to host locally.
The minister said there would be no challenge in implementing the local content policy as the policy already specifies 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. I am amazed at the world-class infrastructure obtainable in Rack Centre; I am happy, that Rack Centre could compete with the best in the world.
“It is not logical for the Nigerian government or the private sector to keep patronising the foreign facilities once we have capacity, we will resort to buying outside the shores only if the capacity is not there”, he stated.
Shittu said the government was committed to creating the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. According to him, as a government there was need to encourage all private initiatives which are investing in the Nigerian economy in a bid to ensure that information technology firms grow to a satisfactory levels and contribute its fair share to the Gross Domestic product.
Managing Director of Rack Centre, Ayotunde Coker, said the data centre colocation provider had just doubled its capacity from 119 racks to 255 racks within seven months and that company is indeed working towards the objective of meeting local demand.
“We intend to build that capacity, we have the blueprint and we have proved that it can be done by our doubling the capacity of the centre within just seven months ahead of time and within budget, and that the capacity can be increased again to 600 racks within another seven months once it is identified that the market exists for the expansion”, he said.
Corroborating Coker, the Group Co-Chief Executive Officer of Jagal, Rack Centre’s parent company, Maher Jarmakani, said Jagal Group is committed to continual increase of the capacity of the Rack Centre as it views data as being strategic to the development of not only Nigeria but the African continent and Rack Centre has been actively involved in marketing the data centre all over Africa.