Opinion-moulders in information and record management sector have called on the National Assembly to speedily pass the data protection law, if the country will truly make any meaningful progress.
Oyedokun Oyewole, president/chairman, governing council, Institute of Information Management – Africa (IIM-Africa), said this at the weekend to commemorate the International Archives Day 2018 celebration, in Lagos.
He noted that the country lacked enabling laws that will ensure proper management of information and records.
“In Nigeria today, we don’t have data protection laws. Just last week I was in the UK for Institute of Information Management Induction and a day before our induction in the UK, the UK government, reintroduce their data protection regulation, that is , the general data protection regulation.
“It came into force on May 25th, these are some of the things we as Africans should imbibe. There is need for the national assembly to speedily pass the data protection law in Nigeria,” he said.
Oyewole decried the production and issuance of National Identity cards by the Federal Government without adequate laws to ensure that data captured were used for the purpose for which they are being captured.
In his words, “Over the years we have been hearing about the national identity card project, how on earth would you have such sensitive project without having enabling laws that will ensure that data, that are being captured are used for the purpose for which they said they are capturing them.
“And the usage of those data, how are they being governed, are there rules, are there specifications, are there processes, are there procedures that will ensure that your information, your data, my information, my data that are being collected are being used appropriately.
“So, these are some of the several issues that are on ground that the institute is actually out to resolve because there is no government anywhere in the world that can move any country forward without recourse to quality information.
“If quality and correct information is not available, it would be difficult for government to know the number of unemployed citizen.
“It will be difficult for them to know those that are aged, it will be difficult for them to know the number of graduates we are churning out, so as to be able to adequately provide employment opportunity for them.
“It will also be difficult for government to know the infant mortality rate, health care requirements and so on and so forth.
“All of these things grossly depend on quality of information and that is why we are out, that is why we are trying to create awareness today,” he stated.
He added that, their aim was to let people know the importance of records and archives management, “because in this part of the world, people only see tangible things as physical assets, like building, vehicles, equipment and so on but information is another assets government should take seriously, they should pass all the necessary laws and make sure that people do the right things at the right time and also ensure that only trained and qualify personnel are saddle with the responsibilities of managing personal information, government information and corporate information.”
Oyewole further explained that in a bid to sensitise citizens on the importance of proper information and record management, the institute has embarked on certification courses for citizens and professionals alike.
He said, “We offer certification courses for core information management professionals and general certification for all citizens, even the house help, the security people etc., are required to come for this program.
Jummy Adetoyese Olagunju, Director Awards, Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa, said that their aim is to change people’s orientation to have the right approach to things and enable them leverage on information record management and archiving to make the country better and the world at large.
He said, “Today is international archive day and it is also a day when the IIM organise free quarterly training.
“It is free because it’s not something you have to pay for; members come in, even people from outside come in as well and they are imparted with knowledge for free, which a lot of people pay for outside.
“So, there are two things in one, first is marking the international archive day and having the quarterly training as well.
“What we are doing today will help in steering Nigeria in the right direction, because where we are presently, we are not yet there.
“That’s why in most situations, we are reactive, we react to issues, we react to national disaster, and we react to very important things.
Chidinma Mbagwu, project manager, Beauty Pageant, Institute of Information Management, said that the aim of Miss Archive beauty pageant is solely to create awareness in the minds of our youths about the importance of information and record management.
She said, “Miss Archive beauty pageant is another way of attracting interest from young people and creating awareness in information and record management.
A beauty pageant will arouse young people’s interest in becoming aware of the importance of information and record management.”