NITDA wants ho­tel guests, oth­ers reg­is­tered for In­ter­net ser­vice

The Punch - - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - Ever­est Amae­fule, Abuja

The Na­tional In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Agency has warned ho­tels to de­sist from pro­vid­ing In­ter­net ser­vices to guests with­out proper reg­is­tra­tion with the agency.

In a state­ment made avail­able to our correspondent in Abuja on Fri­day, the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of NITDA, Dr Isa Ibrahim, said restau­rants, event man­age­ment cen­tres and ser­vice providers could not pro­vide in­ter­net ser­vices to mem­bers of the pub­lic with­out fol­low­ing the due process laid down by the agency.

Ac­cord­ing to Ibrahim, fail­ure to fol­low the laid­down guide­lines in the pro­vi­sion of pub­lic In­ter­net ac­cess can com­pro­mise na­tional se­cu­rity as well as im­pede the de­vel­op­ment of the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sec­tor.

he, there­fore, warned that it was set to en­force com­pli­ance with the Pub­lic In­ter­net Ac­cess Reg­u­la­tion, is­sued pur­suant to Sec­tion 6 of the NITDA Act 2007.

The PIA Reg­u­la­tion is a reg­u­la­tory frame­work for the pro­vi­sion of In­ter­net ser­vices in pub­lic ar­eas or lo­ca­tions where mem­bers of the pub­lic have un­fet­tered ac­cess.

It pro­vides min­i­mum re­quire­ments and pro­cesses for pro­vi­sion­ing of the pub­lic In­ter­net ac­cess ser­vice and man­dates com­pli­ance re­port­ing to en­sure rules are fol­lowed in pro­vi­sion­ing of this vi­tal and strate­gic ser­vice.

The state­ment said in part, “The agency com­mends op­er­a­tors who are cur­rently pro­vid­ing this ser­vice (In­ter­net) across Nige­ria as the ser­vice in­creases the use of In­ter­net and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy for de­vel­op­ment of Nige­ria.

“It is, how­ever, per­ti­nent to note that this ser­vice can be mis­used with great detri­ment to de­vel­op­ment of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and na­tional se­cu­rity, in a man­ner that may be in­ju­ri­ous to the ci­ti­zens.

“The Fed­eral Govern­ment is also con­cerned about the man­age­ment and use of the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of Nige­ri­ans.

“It is on these con­sid­er­a­tions that all ser­vice providers of pub­lic In­ter­net ser­vice such as IT com­pa­nies, restau­rants, ho­tels and event cen­tres are di­rected to com­ply with the Nige­rian Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion of the NITDA 2019, is­sued pur­suant to Sec­tion 6 of the NITDA 2007.”

Ibrahim added, “hence­forth, only reg­is­tered, ver­i­fied and vet­ted providers can pro­vide pub­lic In­ter­net ac­cess ser­vice in Nige­ria.

“Cur­rent and prospec­tive providers are, there­fore, re­quired to reg­is­ter with the agency in line with the pro­vi­sions of the Pub­lic In­ter­net Ac­cess Reg­u­la­tion 2019 and must sub­mit, on a bi-an­nual ba­sis, com­pleted com­pli­ance re­port­ing forms in the man­ner pre­scribed by NITDA.

“The Pub­lic In­ter­net Ac­cess Reg­is­tra­tion form and the Pub­lic In­ter­net Ac­cess Com­pli­ance forms are avail­able on the agency’s web­site: ng.”

The agency warned con­cerned op­er­a­tors that vi­o­la­tion of the reg­u­la­tory guide­lines of NITDA was a crim­i­nal of­fence and pun­ish­able with a fine, im­pris­on­ment or both.

It also urged mem­bers of the pub­lic and op­er­a­tors of pub­lic In­ter­net ac­cess ser­vice to com­ply promptly with the reg­u­la­tion.

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