Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication Minister, says that government agencies will be compelled to host their data in Nigeria under plans to drive its local content policy in the technology sector.
According to the Minister, the rule will go into force once it is guaranteed that local data centres and allied hosting service providers have enough capacity to meet public requirements.
The Minister, who dropped the hint Monday, during a visit to Rack Centre’s Data Centre in Lagos, says that if the local capacity could be met within a year from now, “the government would compel Ministries, Departments and Agencies to host locally.”
According to him, once Data Centres in the country have enough capacity locally to handle data generated within the country, the Nigerian government will put a stop to its data being hosted abroad.
At the Lagos site of Rack Centre, Nigeria premium Tier lll Data Centre, Shittu says 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.”[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]“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”, the Minister says.[/quote]
He anticipates 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”, the Minister says.
“I am happy” Shittu says while noting that Rack Centre’s facility can compete with the best in the world.
Shittu believes that “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.”
According to the Minister, the government was committed to creating the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive adding that “as a government we 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.”
In his response, Mr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre, says the Lagos-based data centre colocation provider had just doubled its capacity from 119 racks to 255 racks within seven months.
Under the phased upgrade plan, the company is working towards the objective of meeting local demand, says its Managing Director. “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”, according to Rack Centre’s Coker.
Rack Centre plans to expand into the West African sub regional market and “then to the rest of the African continent.”