Opinion

Relevance of Database and Digital Data Management in Modern Nigeria

Digital Data Management - cfamedia

Nations are gradually bouncing back to life, as the tension of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has rocked the globe, in the past few months, is slowly dying down.

Though some activities are yet to resume, as some organisations and institutions still remain closed.

There have been measures taken, to ease the total lockdown imposed across countries of the world.

The pangs from the stings of the pandemic are still being felt, as individuals and businesses, both local and international and governments, struggle to curtail the economic hardship consequently, unleashed by the lockdown measures.

The pandemic has not only created a tough economic situation.

In the very little time that different countries of the world have had to battle with this foe, it has exposed to the limelight.

Some flaws in management and inadequacies in infrastructures.

One of these, is the dearth of database and digital data management facilities.

The importance of proper digital data management and a good database was never glaring, until now.

One major cause of the widespread of the pandemic, especially, in developing and Third World countries, was difficulty in contact tracing.

This is a pointer to the absence of a good database and appropriate real-time tabs, on record of events and documentation of activities of individuals, in the populace.

While we count the losses from this very occurrence, wisdom demands that each leader across the globe should address such lapses, for the benefit of their populace and as a way of preparing for unforeseen events such as this, in the future.

Simply put, a database is a system put in place, to store information.

As it is well known, information is power, for knowledge is simply a disclosed information about a subject.

Like the usual banks, where we keep our money, a database is an information bank, where information is saved and kept for use when needed.

Importance of good database and digital data management facilities in modern Nigeria

The relevance of the availability of a good database cannot be overemphasized.

Every sector in the Nigerian system utilise information.

As such, a lot of services and organisations, within the Nigerian system and economy have failed to step up to the pace of their counterparts across the globe, owing to inadequate digital data management and unavailability of an effective central database.

It is embarrassing to still see practices like manual book records of daily activities and transactions in places like hospitals, courts, police stations, government ministries, business organisations, etc.

In a country like the USA, just a click on a Desktop computer in a federal agency and records on an individual;

Health, crime, financial transactions and status, location, travel histories, etc., are made available.

Such information becomes vital, in case of an emergency. This has been crucial in the effectiveness and efficiency of services, like security, health, etc, in the developed countries of the world.

These countries all started, by creating a database in small organisations, like hospitals, courts, police stations, government ministries, and businesses.

The database from each organisation is, then, networked into a giant central database, that sorts and merges data synonymous with a subject together.

Hence, providing adequate information, about such subjects and their different activities, across various locations and organisations.

Our National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, should sit up and see to such things as this.

In the wake of modern technology, the following are benefits of an effective Central Database in Nigeria:-

Effective Crime Control and Security Services

It will take less time to catch criminals and detect fraudulent activities if law enforcement agencies are empowered with an effective central database.

Each small community is supposed to have digital records of its populace, keep a tab on influx and travel in, or out of each jurisdiction and records on crimes and criminals.

Local police, road safety corps, custom officers, immigration officers, vehicle inspection officers and a lot of law enforcement agencies, at various checkpoints, interact with people.

The ability to store information from such interactions, incorporate them into a giant database and make them available in case of security emergencies, will go a long way in boosting the effectiveness of the Nigerian security agencies.

Central storage and access to footage from CCTV cameras, monitoring of call records, hotel lodging records, travel records at parks and ports, are all relevant for effective security services.

This has been the major challenge in the fight against terrorism in the country, for we have little, or no records on who is who, or who does what and when.

Improved Human Logistics for Economic Planning

A good database will make available, real-time information government officials need, in planning and taking economical decisions.

It will provide skeletal details on the populace, from which statistical data relevant for logistic purposes, can be obtained.

Effective Management of Health Emergencies

In Nigeria, health emergencies are sometimes life-threatening, due to lack of adequate information.

Emergency services take time to access victims of casualties and sometimes, medical services are delayed, based on the unavailability of health records of patients of emergencies, or records on families and close contacts needed for signatories and financial support, on behalf of patients.

A good database will help provide details on individuals, their health records and persons to contact, in case of an emergency.

Clarity on Individual Personality and Character for Safe Governance and Politics

Most times, we know so little about persons we elect into offices.

We become baffled when they get engrossed in corruption, or illicit practices.

Some persons, however, have records of fraudulent activities, or crime, prior to occupying political offices.

If the masses have a clue about their persons, the transparency in the electioneering process begins from knowing who is worth voting for.

Only a well-developed information collation system and database, can help provide all necessary digital data, in these regards.

Projection of the National Image

Unfortunately, based on encounters with a few individuals, a lot of foreign personnel have the wrong impression about governance and people in Nigeria.

They need good information about our character, culture and people.

This is a vital role that a good information database will play.

It will provide the international world an avenue to confirm the identity of citizens, get a good background on their character.

Thus helping in curtailing crime, thus, allowing the redemption of the marred image portrayed for the country by fraudsters.

With the society being reshaped, in the face of this crisis, it is important to put these things in place, so our systems may function well.


Featured Image: bmc


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