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Citizens call for more sensitisation on open data initiative


Abuja- Stakeholders on Tuesday in Abuja called on the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology to carry out more sensitisation on the ministry’s Open Data Initiative.

The Open Data Initiative, introduced by the ministry on Jan. 23, is aimed at opening up high value datasets from across government ministries to Nigerian citizens, businesses and the rest of the world.

The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said at the event that publishing non-sensitive government data online was aimed at delivering value-adding insights for the benefit of the people.

Mr Emmanuel Federicks, a Data Analyst with First Bank PLC, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the ministry should do more sensitisation on the initiative.

“’First bank knows the importance of the initiative because we use data for all our transactions.

“ What is the point of having a world class programme on ground through which government talks openly and freely about its policies if the public is unaware of it.

“There is a need to inform the public on how the initiative works and the importance of shared information,” he said.

Federicks said the initiative had enabled his bank to share information with other banks and other stakeholders in the industry.

He called on other corporate organisations and individuals to be more data-conscious because the more informed they are the better for their businesses.

“The more data you have the more informed you are about events in the global business environment and that means you make better business decisions.’’

Mr Kolawole Suleiman, a public servant, told NAN that he was not aware of the initiative and did not know that such existed.
“I don’t know of the initiative; in fact, I am just hearing about it now for the first time.

“It is very good if such an initiative exists, but the government should do more sensitisation on it to let the public know about it.

“It is not enough to introduce a programme and leave it at that; people should be informed of its existence through methods such as jingles,’’ Suleiman said. (NAN)

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