In a much digitized world, information is key and data mining the Holy Grail. No country would develop or change her narratives without a robust information management system in place. It’s the proper information management system would help any responsible country to plan her development and implementation wouldn’t be a challenge. From education to planning, from health to crime prevention, from infrastructure to even hospitality, the key of getting these sectors working optimally is Information Management and countries are looking towards this, Nigeria shouldn’t be an exception! As it stands today, the country is yet to come to terms on the need to have a robust and resilient information management system.
In a media chat with the Codefest, a technology hub based in Lagos, the President of Insitute of Information Management Nigeria explained the genesis of the institute, the growth curve and the need to have proper information management system in place. From certification of private and public sectors mangers to creating enabling laws that would support and guide information management in the country.
In his words he said that “The regulators must start paying attention to the professionals in information management space. With this in place and the political will power, Nigeria would go places. We cannot be having a country where the issue of identity management isn’t robust”, he said.
When the Information Management foundation, the essence was to keep promoting and creating awareness around record and information management online. We started as an NGO, as of then even up till date we had few organizations that are providing these services. We looked at information management and the gaps we tried to fill. We try to bridge and help professionals in the institute.
THE EVOLUTION AND GROWTH OF INSITUTE OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
During the growth, we had people that keep asking that they want to join. We weren’t created as a membership organization. But as the demand for registration keep coming, we couldn’t be a membership driven organization. What we did was to create a network of professionals! So that was the RFK quarterly training. It was free. As the founder and the president, I funded it and it got to a point that issues started popping up like in the issue of archive management and the lack of recognition. Organization weren’t recognizing data information managers. The issue of standards came up. People were asking were we can have standards, recognition and competency. That was how we came to what we are today.
BUSINESS PROSPECTS AND FILLING THE VOID
At a point then, some banks came to us and accosted us and gave us the project that is worth tens of millions. That was how the institute of information management came up. The institute came up as a result of the gaps that were in the country. We consulted with oversea organization and we had to consult with technical support and today, they are our technical team.
There are various gaps that we were meant to fill. Knowing that there are no laws, we needed to create standard and template of information management in the country. We had the daunting task to bring up and fashion out ways that Nigeria would go as it regards to the information management system. Some of these gaps in the country such as lack of policies and no procedures in information management in the country even across sub Saharan Africa. Then we started the IIAM Africa. This is with the hope of developing standards for African. MOREQ this is European Standard and DOD1515 as the USA standards. So what we tried to do is have a standard for Africa information management!
LEGAL PROCESS AND LAWS ABOUT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND CITIZEN DATA ACCESS
Today, we have our bill sitting at the National Assembly. This bill would be used to ensure that public sector employee would pass through our certification process before they can be promoted. We have this bill in the National Assembly. The record and information management space in Nigeria is been controlled by us.
On the duplication of Nigerian data by various organizations, in developed world they don’t allow private organizations to even come near the National Identity database but unlike Nigeria, where every private organizations has access or is conducting data base from bank verification numbers (BVN) ,to Telecommunication, FRSC and SIM registration. This lack of cohesion by the National Identity Management Commission has seen everybody asking innocent Nigerians of their identity coupled with lack of laws that is meant to protect the citizens.
On the National Identity Card by NIMC, the information management expert said that “there is no data protection law that would protect the Nigerians from giving out their identities”.
THE IMPLICATIONS OF HAVING MASTERCARD IN THE NATIONAL IDENTITY PROJECT
On the issue of bringing MasterCard to the national identity project, the Jonathan administration didn’t carry the professionals like us along. We made them understand that there is no law that would back up the project! Go to the streets you would see people under the umbrella registering people doing SIM card registration. These people should have their license and be trained. There is no need giving every Dick and Harry camera to register people and without any specifications. There is no collaboration between NCC and NIMC, we do understand that they don’t have the required skills to get this done and this is where we come in and bring in “Need Analysis”. If they don’t collaborate with us , the confusion still continues.
ABOUT THE INSITUTE OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
The Institute of Information Management (IIM) is a professional membership driven Institute, developed to serve the growing community of Data, Information, Records, Document and Archives Management professionals who are tasked with managing the dynamic information life cycle within the enterprise. It is the goal of the institute to provide our members with objective insights and guidance on their career path and technology options.
ANTHONY EMEKA NWOSU
“I think that in any organization, the Information Management should be having IT department or section under them. That is the power of IM. Unlike IT is which an enabler is.Information is life, that is what Nigeria Needs to Manage the economy