The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has reiterated its commitment to ensure that providers of Public Internet Access, PIA, comply with the legal framework regulating the services.
The Director General of the agency, Isa Pantami, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the move was in line with the agency’s mandate of promoting and regulating Information Technology, IT, in Nigeria.
The PIA Regulation is a regulatory framework for the provision of internet services in public areas or locations where the public have unfettered access.
Mr Pantami stated that “NITDA, in line with its mandate of promoting and regulating IT in Nigeria, is set to enforce compliance with the PIA regulation, issued pursuant to Section 6 of the NITDA Act 2007.
“It provides minimum requirements and processes for provision of the public internet access service and mandates compliance reporting to ensure the rules are followed in the provision of this vital and strategic service.”
The NITDA boss commended operators providing the services because they were in the business of developing IT in the country by increasing the use and access to the internet.
He, however, said that the service could be abused to the detriment of IT development and national security, which would affect citizens.
He added that “the Federal Government is also concerned about the management and use of 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 agency.
“Henceforth, only registered, verified and vetted providers can provide public internet access service in Nigeria.
“Current and prospecting providers are therefore required to register with NITDA, in line with the provisions of the PIA regulation of 2019.”
He further said that internet service providers were required to submit completed compliance reporting forms bi-annually, in the manner prescribed
According to the D-G, the PIA registration form and the compliance forms are available on the agency’s website:www.nitda.gov.ng.
He warned that violation of the regulatory guidelines of NITDA was a criminal offence and punishable with a fine, imprisonment or both.
He said “the public and operators of public internet access service are advised to comply promptly and accordingly.”