Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Hamzat has called on the Nigerian Senate to introduce robust legislation if the country is to reap the benefit derivable from the digital revolution.
He described the absence of appropriate legislation as the bane of international company setting up shop in Nigeria, saying that with such legislation, an international data centre could be set up in Nigeria and thereby attract immense benefit of creating jobs.
The Deputy Governor stated this while receiving members of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Crime who paid him a courtesy visit in his Ikeja Office on Thursday.
While urging the leadership of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Crime to prevail on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to develop infrastructure in local areas, Dr. Hamzat observed that non-utilisation has denied Nigeria the benefit of combating such crime as kidnapping.
He said Nigeria is home to the highest number of technology start-ups in Africa, adding that many young Nigerians are doing great things that legislation will greatly enhance.
“We in Lagos State clearly understood the need for science and technology; that is why we set up a full fledge Ministry in 2002. We brought in knowledgeable people to establish and run it from the US’’, he averred that a supporting ICT master plan has been put in place by the State,” he said.
Hamzat further said Lagos is developing a 3000km fibre optic duct that can be leased to private sector to forestall indiscriminate building of infrastructure by private people.
While also stating that GDP is tied to ICT penetration, Hamzat said the penetration is less than 35% in Nigeria.
He said the State is already working on ‘’Digital Photoing’’ for the Police to free up space occupied by vehicles kept around their premises as evidence. He added that there is a need to review the court proceeding and allow electronic evidences.
While assuring the Senate Committee of the State’s readiness to partner with them for training of Nigerians. Hamzat said the State Government will positively disposed to the plans to host a conference on ICT and Cybercrime planned by the Committee.
Earlier, the Leader of the delegation and Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yakubu Oseni stated that the Committee is concerned about the threat of cybercrime, especially as Nigeria has weak systems epitomised by our bottom position in capacity index.
He said the outlook of Nigeria in the digital space necessitates the articulation and rapid development in digital technology.
The Senator urged governments at the State level to embrace the use of technology as well as participate in the training programme for indigenes that the Committee is planning.
He said an international stakeholder conference is planned for June, 2020.