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Nigeria Customs champions global data governance at UNCTAD E-Week 2023

Spearheading a pivotal session, the Nigeria Customs Service, represented by CSC DO Anikoh and CSC OF Obieze, facilitated a dialogue on the adoption and implementation of a Data Governance Framework aligned with international best practices.

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Nigeria Customs champions global data governance at UNCTAD E-Week 2023

The UNCTAD E-Week 2023 conference, convened at the Centre International de Conférences de Genève (CICG) from December 4 to 8, spotlighted the pressing need for resilient data governance in developing nations.

Spearheading a pivotal session, the Nigeria Customs Service, represented by CSC DO Anikoh and CSC OF Obieze, facilitated a dialogue on the adoption and implementation of a Data Governance Framework aligned with international best practices.

Experts from both public and private sectors converged to explore key elements such as accuracy, security, and standardization in data governance.

DHL’s Steven Pope stressed stringent controls on data sharing, emphasizing prevention of misuse, while the Universal Postal Union’s Javier Garcia highlighted the importance of aligning national data governance frameworks with global provisions.

The comprehensive discussion delved into critical aspects, including fair compensation for data analysts, the role of data analysts in specialised agencies, addressing data quality, challenges faced by startups in accessing real data, and the opportunities and challenges of accessing private company data for policy-making. A recurring theme was the need for international regulation to prevent data misuse.

The consensus from the dialogue underscored that data governance is foundational to digital transformation.

Developing countries were encouraged to manage data at macro, regional, and international levels. The session emphasized the crucial role of data sharing and usability between the private sector and regulatory institutions, addressing privacy and security concerns while promoting sustainable development.

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Implementing data governance policies in the private sector was deemed crucial for gaining trust, establishing guidelines, and balancing privacy with innovation. The session called for government support and awareness-raising about data governance policies.

For e-commerce supply chain businesses, data governance was recognised as essential to reduce risks and ensure data accuracy. It involves understanding data structure, protecting accessed data, and using standards and technology.

Legal frameworks, such as the USMCA in Latin America and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), were highlighted as necessary to prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The discussion emphasized that data storage is a global issue for agencies, and data governance streamlines management, improving efficiency. Government and regulatory agencies were urged to adapt to changing data governance, especially in mobile money and e-commerce data systems.

A robust data governance system, balancing standardization, harmonization, and simplification, was deemed crucial. Facilitating cross-border data flows was discussed, with higher-level standards like the GDPR seen as beneficial, although concerns about non-uniform standards were acknowledged.

The session concluded with a recommendation for regulatory institutions in developing countries to adopt data governance frameworks or seek assistance from international bodies like the WTO and WCO to encourage responsible data sharing with private stakeholders.

The overarching message was clear: robust data governance is paramount for navigating the complexities of the digital era, promoting economic growth, and ensuring a fair, secure, and mutually beneficial global data landscape.

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