Students canvass open data policy
In line with the global campaign for open data, students in Nigeria have urged governments at all levels to adopt open access to data as a national policy because of its benefits.
Students, under the auspices of Open Con, at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Tuesday, organised a conference, which sought to address challenges facing open access to data.
The convener, Bolutife Adisa, a 400-Level Electrical Electronic Engineering student, said adopting the policy would make online research and data freely accessible to people.
He said the policy would help improve government’s performance and give the citizenry the opportunity to make informed decisions and hold government accountable.
Bolutife said: “Open data is crucial to the development of the country. It will help in achieving accuracy in academic research, data science, medicine, software development, corporate governance, transportation and every other area of human endeavours.
“One of the reasons Nigeria needs to facilitate open data is that, it will drive technological innovations and enhance the efficiency of researchers. This has been adopted by many countries globally and it is yielding positive gains.”
Stressing the need for communities to come together and advance the campaign for open data, Bolutife said it would drive the nation forward if the policy is implemented.
He said: “We want to create a platform where our works would be openly accessible and software will equally be accessible. Open Con creates platform where students can come together, deliberate and do projects that will advance open access to data.”
The event featured a panel of discussion, where Kayode Yusuf of Tech Lead Creative Commons spoke about licensing open data. During the session, Sam Oyeyele of WikiMedia Foundation discussed how best to share data on Wikipedia.
Oyeyele said making data open would improve the way people access information and promote innovation in transportation, elections, health and energy.