October 22, 2020

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Agency re-assures Nigerians on Data Protection

3 min read

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has reassured on the implementation of Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) to ensure adequate security for internet users in Nigeria.

Vincent Olatunji, NITDA Director, e-Government Development and Regulation, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja.

“We have put in place the necessary framework for implementation, we need awareness for people to comply and that will increase our rating globally in the area of cyber security and data protection,” Mr Olatunji said.

He said that the regulation, when fully implemented, would allow for better data protection in the country, improve cyber security and create more employment for Nigerians to boost the economy.

He said that NDPR was formulated as a subsidiary legislation designed to match all the foundational principles of data protection in line with global practices.

“The way forward for the NDPR is compliance, it is for everybody to comply, both private and public sector organisations because that is the only thing that make deserved impact.

“From reports received, NDPR compliance is more in the private sector than public sector and that is why we need consistent awareness on the part of the public sector,’’ he said.

He added that the agency had trained Data Protection Officers (DPOs) in public institutions to ensure data protection in their organisations, as well as create awareness for compliance.

The director also said that data protection was a sector of the economy that could not be ignored, hence the need for a supporting law.

According to him, globally to support what we are doing, we need an act of parliament, this is a subsidiary regulation, and it is not as strong as act of parliament.

He said that NITDA in collaboration with some government agencies had been pushing for the enactment of Data Protection Bill to address data privacy problems in the country.

Mr Olatunji said the original bill was passed by the 8th National Assembly but was not signed by President Muhammadu Buhari for some reasons

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He said that the new bill was undergoing corrections and inputs from stakeholders to make it more encompassing, in line with global standard.

On cyber security awareness month, Mr Olatunji said that having data privacy protection regulation was needed for the country to have a secured cyber space.

“Whatever you do online, NDPR is at the core of whatever you do in the cyber space and we need adequate compliance,’’ he said.

The NDPR, formulated on Jan. 25, 2019, was designed to ensure the protection, prevent manipulation of personal data and to ensure that Nigerian businesses were competitive in the international space by safeguarding data through a legal regulatory framework, among others.

The regulation’s 21-month performance indicator, presented recently, indicated that 2, 686 jobs have been created for data protection officers, as well as generation of N2 billion in the private sector and N12 million in the public sector.


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