Relax, Nigerian government has not banned hosting data in foreign cloud servers. Yes, you can use AWS, Azure and others including the local companies like MainOne and Rackcentre. That WhatsApp is fake news and should be disregarded. While the regulation used the word “transfer” and not evidently “store”, the mechanics is clear that you can be on “transfer” for decades. Government understands that. This is the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)’s NIGERIA DATA PROTECTION REGULATION 2019; it is unambiguous: you can transfer (and by extension store) data in a foreign country provided that country can offer adequate level of protection. U.S. countries meet those standards.
a) a transfer of Personal Data to a foreign country or an international organization may take place where the Agency has decided that the foreign country, territory or one or more specified sectors within that foreign country, or the international organization in question ensures an adequate level of protection;
b) the HAGF shall take into consideration the legal system of the foreign country particularly in the areas of rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedom, relevant legislation, both general and sectoral,
including public security, defence, national security and criminal law and the access of public authorities to Personal Data
Government is just right here: we are not yet at the level to require all citizen data to be hosted locally. Asking for that will mean Nigeria’s digital economy will collapse.