National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has said that in line with its mandate of promoting and regulating Information Technology in Nigeria, is set to enforce compliance with the Public Internet Access (PIA) Regulation, issued pursuant to Section 6 of the NITDA Act 2007.
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency stated this in a statement released in Abuja.According to the statement, “PIA Regulation is a regulatory framework for the provision of internet services in public areas or locations where members of the public have unfettered access.
“It provides minimum requirements and processes for provisioning of the public internet access service and mandates compliance reporting to ensure the rules are followed in provisioning of this vital and strategic service.”
A statement further stated that the Agency commends operators who are currently providing this service across Nigeria, as the service increases the use of internet and Information Technology for development of Nigeria.
“It is, however, pertinent to note that this service can be misused with great detriment to development of Information Technology and national security, in a manner that may be injurious to the citizens. The Federal Government is also concerned about the management and use of the personal information of Nigerians.
“It is on these considerations that all service providers of public internet service such as IT companies, Restaurants, Hotels and Event Centres are directed to comply with the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation of the NITDA 2019, issued pursuant to Section 6 of the NITDA 2007.
“Henceforth, only registered, verified and vetted providers can provide public internet access service in Nigeria”, the DG said.According to Dr. Pantami, current and prospecting providers are therefore required to register with the Agency in line with the provisions of the Public Internet Access Regulation, 2019 and must submit, on a bi-annual basis, completed compliance reporting forms in the manner prescribed by NITDA.
“The Public Internet Access (PIA) Registration form and the Public Internet Access Compliance forms are available on the Agency’s website: www.nitda.gov.ng.“It should be noted that violation of the Regulatory Guidelines of NITDA is a criminal offence and punishable with a fine, imprisonment or both.“Members of the public and operators of public internet access service are advised to comply promptly and accordingly”, the statement reads.