A Nigerian professor of Information Science, Prof. Ezra Shiloba Gbaje, believes that the country needs a National Centre for Digital Preservation (NNCDP) for monitoring and conduct of researches on digital preservation in Nigeria.
Delivering an Inaugural Lecture themed, “Beyond Digitization: Access and Preservation” at the Federal University Lokoja (FUL) on Wednesday in Lokoja, he reiterated the imperative for a “unified National digital preservation policy and implementation strategies”.
In his opinion, the policy will provide a well-articulated roadmap for digital preservation activities for the National Information Centres and other related efforts in digital preservation in the country.
He advocated that centre should be a with the mandate and commitment to digital objects preservation.
The Center, he added, would ensure that digital objects created and preserved at the Nigerian National Information Centres are available accessible for re-use in the short and long-term
Prof. Gbaje also called for the modification and re-designing of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model for the preservation of digital objects using appropriate computer hardware and Dspace Open Source Softwares.
He hinted that the Federal Government of Nigeria over the past two decades had evolved and promoted many initiatives and policies that encourage the use of digital technology in almost every facet of human endeavours.
The aim, according to him, is to ensure that Information Technology resources are readily available to promote efficient national development and provide enabling environment for data protection and data utility.
“I wish to state that to date, no digital preservation policy has been put in place to ensure that the growing digital objects created as a result of a shift to digital information systems are preserved for long-term accessibility and re-use”, Prof. Gbaje observed.
“There must be active intervention to make sure that the digital objects stored in storage media can be located accessed and used over a long term period.
“Digital preservation policies and strategies are crucial parts of managing risks associated with rapid computer hardware and software obsolescences”, he said.
He added that fake news was now rampant because of improper information preservation procedures saying that when put in proper perspective, systems would begin to reject fake news on their own. Fake News have peculiar features.