NITDA bill: ACCCI launches working committee to review bill and generate recommendations

NITDA bill: ACCCI launches working committee to review bill and generate recommendations

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has announced the set-up of a working committee to implement solutions and recommendations towards the National Information Technology Development Agency’s Digital Economy Bill.

This was disclosed by the ACCI over the weekend, according to the News Agency of Nigeria. It added that the 8-man committee would be chaired by Amb. Segun Olugbile, to review the Bill and generate actions and recommendations to be submitted in two weeks.

The ACCI said the committee implementation was the result of a meeting between the ACCI, National Chamber Policy Centre of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and ICT sector stakeholders, after controversies linked to the new NITDA bill.

Vice-President, Technology, Skills and Digital Economy, ACCI, Mr Osi Imomoh, who chaired the meeting said the ambiguous sections should rather be clearly spelt out to give ICT operators understanding of the implications of the bill “Concerns have been raised within Nigeria and the American Business Council over the Bill.

The functions of the Agency according to reactions are not also properly spelt out.

“The chamber conveyed the meeting in the interest of the business community to address these bottlenecks and also engage NITDA to amend some of the sections that were infringing on ICT business operations in Nigeria,” Imomoh said.

Director-General ACCI, Victoria Akai, added that despite worries about the bill, the ACCI would work through policy advocacy in a bid to have consultative meetings over the bill.

“We intend to gather the viewpoints of our members which will now inform the stand to be taken by the Chamber’s leadership. Our deliberations will generate specific amendment to the provision of the Bill as proposed by NITDA.

“Our proposed amendment to the Bill will then be forwarded to the Director-General, NITDA and the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.

“Our resolutions here, will also form the bases of our media engagement which will push for the protection of the interest of the business community.

From the look of things, we now have an agency that wants to take control of everything including, licensing, registration, regulations, authorisations and others,” Akai said.

NITDA said that the essence of this engagement is to bring the issue to the attention of the public and ensure that the Organised Private Sector (OPS) helps to shape the opinion of the public sector.

What you should know

Last month a leaked bill circulating on social media showed that the Nigerian Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was proposing amendments to its regulatory Act which will give the agency more control over Nigeria’s budding technology ecosystem

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