Istifanus List Benefits Of Nigeria’s Mobile Big Data Initiative 

Yemisi Izuora

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus, has said that the telecommunications industry will thrive with the Mobile Big Data Policy being pursued by government.

Istifanus, indicated this during the virtual public engagement on the draft Nigeria Mobile Data policy prepared by the National Technical Working Group (NTWG).

The virtual meeting which involves numerous stakeholders including Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), security agencies, academia and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) was facilitated by the Ministry.

In his welcome address, Istifanus stated that the objective of the National Mobile Big Data Analytics Program is to enable diverse stakeholders within and outside Nigeria to derive value from the large volume of Mobile Positioning Data (MPD) which is in the custody of the Licensed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria.

According to him, “Mobile Big Data possess massive benefits for the public good, including arming statistical bodies with new statistical data and insights. The Ministry has taken steps towards realizing these benefits by setting up a National Technical Working Group (NTWG) to articulate a roadmap for the development and use of MPD for official statistics as well as other benefits”.

He said the draft policy prepared by the National Technical Working Group (NTWG) on the Mobile Big Data under auspices of the National Mobile Big Data Analytics Program of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMC&DE) which membership includes regulators, MNOs, security agencies and several Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) that will benefit from the results of mobile big data analytics.

In his contribution, the representative of Airtel, Mr. Ifeloju Alakija commended the Ministry for initiating the policy which would help diversify Nigeria Gross Domestic Product (GDP) urging the committee to expand and broaden the scope to include the Over the Top (OTT) player, Banks, Universities, and MDAs.

Mr. Anas Galadima (MTN) praised the Ministry for its foresight in the development of the policy that would improve the sector adding that its organization is excited that the government is moving at a speed of light to respond to emerging technology.

The representative of the Nigeria Governor Forum (|NGF), Mr. Heman Bassi stated that the forum is more concerned about the poor and vulnerable and how to access them and use data to capture their details.

Pic L-R: The lead member of the National Technical Working Group, Mr. Bern Ewah (NITDA), Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus, Director (Planning, Research, and Statistics), Dr. Nonye Nwachukwu, and Mr. Kema Bonta during the Virtual Public Stakeholders Engagement on the Report on the Draft Nigeria Mobile Big Data Policy in Abuja.

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