Digital Economy: Forum Demands Overhaul Of Information And Culture Ministry
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By Rommy IMAH
For an effective National Digital Economy Policy implementation, there is a need for the industry to effectively and consistently engage the Ministry of Information and Culture, as effective data and information governance will go a long way in ensuring the success of the initiative.
These were the views of the National Information Management Stakeholders’ Forum at a press conference held in Lagos last Friday.
Speaking through Amb. (Dr.) Oyedokun Ayodeji Oyewole, President/Chairman, Governing Council, Institute of Information Management, the Forum noted that Government and a good number of organizations are yet to regard data and information as essential corporate assets, with a clear understanding of the difference between Information Technology and Information Management (IM).
“The pace of change and the challenges of the digital era means we’re not only seeing new opportunities but are also facing new risks. Strong leadership, governance, and professionalism in data, information, records, contents and knowledge management will be key, both to seizing opportunities and meeting the challenges ahead.
“We desire to develop and propagate the industry here in Africa and across the globe. The primary requirements for a value-driven IM Industry, however, are skilled manpower, legislations, standards, and government support,” the Forum said.
It stated that the need for information management professionals in the industry charged with managing the information lifecycle to evolve and assume their rightful position, as Information Management is gross misconceived in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.
The Forum while calling for a total overhaul of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to reflect the place of information management in the country’s governance processes, also called for the establishment of National Information Management Development Agency (NIMDA) to manage the information lifecycle of data among others.
“Going forward, this forum (The National Information Management Stakeholders’ Forum) would like to recommend the need for the Ministry of Information and Culture to be transformed and repositioned to enable it take its rightful position as it concerns data, information, records, archives, and contents management in Nigeria.
“A possible separation of the Ministry from Culture and the ultimate establishment of a relevant agency (National Information Management Development Agency (NIMDA)) which will be tasked with managing the Information Lifecycle of data, information, documents, contents and archives generated by all government agencies, ensuring enabling standards, specifications, processes, laws, and policies are in place for a good data and information governance regime in the Country.”
The forum noted that the proposed National Information Development Management Agency (NIMDA) is expected to among other things, set the standards and ensure that qualified and certified personnel are assigned to the management of government data and information; develop and promote best practices in government business processes and providing adequate training and monitoring for data and information management personnel in government.
It is also expected to ensure that all government MDAs comply with standards, processes, procedures, and specifications as it applies to data, information, records, content, and archives use, classification, storage, collaboration, retention, and disposition, in addition to working with other relevant government agencies in ensuring appropriate information management and technology tools are deployed at all government MDAs for effective information security and governance and so on.
The National Information Management Stakeholders’ Forum was developed by the Records and Information Management Awareness (RIMA) Foundation to advance sustainable development at all levels in the information management industry.
Its activity aims to enhance open, accountable and participatory decision-making and governance on sustainable development through enhancing the involvement of all industry stakeholders, and focuses particularly on the effective engagement of stakeholders on information management related policy processes.
While recognizing that the world is in exciting times with data and technology at the heart of many major transformational initiatives and policies, in both public and private organizations, the forum it said, is out to position the Information Management Industry for better recognition by organizations and government in the society.
L-R: Protocol Officer, Span Kitiya James; Monsurat Amina; President/Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Oyedokun Ayodeji Oyewole; Member, Governing Council and Director of Training, Dr. Kolawole Oseni and Head of HR, Merit Endurance, all members of Institute of Information Management (IIM-Africa) during the press conference by National Information Management Stakeholders’ forum held at IIM-Africa’s secretariat on Friday in Lagos State, Nigeria….