The Nigerian sphere of the regulatory system is currently disrupted by factions of other agencies contesting for equality on significant regulatory functions as the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) bid for a controversial bill. NITDA has reportedly sponsored a bill that demands the transition of its development agency to function as a major regulator in the local digital economy.
NITDA currently role as a minor faction of the Nigerian regulatory system that hovers over the digital market as a body of information watchdog to alter development among tech companies and other operating telecom service providers. Still, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) isn’t convinced with NITDA’s controversial bill since the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) already regulates the digital economy per the duty of its office.
ATCON’s rejection of the controversial bill NITDA proposed aims at saving the country from the development agency that plans to invoke wreckage on the digital economy. The umbrella of telecom service providers also noted that the foretold wreaks intended by NITDA will chastise foreign investment from thriving locally which will be no different from local investment as well.
Both sides of investing in the local digital economy are faced with a long-term wreak once NITDA becomes a full-fledged regulator whereby inevitable scenarios of regulatory affairs duplication from different agencies will erupt. While other factions of the inland regulatory system or minor regulatory agencies will be impacted to bid for similar controversial bills as a major regulator.
The ATCON’s president, Tony Emoekpere is concerned about NITDA and openly disapproved expressions about his office’s unwillingness to support the bill because of the possibility of “reduced capital importation into the industry, loss of confidence by both local and international investors.”
“If the Bill is passed as presently constituted, there is the risk that the Agency, acting properly under the Bill may issue regulations, guidelines, and standards with regard to the use of information technology and digital services, which will conflict with the functions of the NCC. It will also result in double and possibly conflicting regulations for telecommunications companies in Nigeria,” Emoekpere continued.
Aside from the ATCON’s consent to challenge NITDA from causing long-term wreak on the digital landscape, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) also consents disapproval with a different narrative as to why NITDA shouldn’t be crowned with the powers of a regulator to “implement all Government policies on information technology and digital economy.”
According to the NITDA background check, its role is to “therefore develop, regulate and advise on Information technology in the country through regulatory standards, guidelines, and policies.
The NITDA is the clearing house for all IT projects and infrastructural development in the country. “It is the prime Agency for electronic government implementation, Internet governance, and general IT development in Nigeria.”
NITDA has been mandated by the National Information Technology Development Act (2007) to establish Standards, Guidelines, and frameworks for the development, standardization, and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.
The agency’s main objective is to provide ICT as a tool in tertiary institutions to drive the mechanism of the education sector in the country.