FG Signs Data Protection Bill Into Law

The Federal Government has signed the Nigeria Data Protection Bill, 2023 into law to protect the personal information of citizens.

The National Commissioner, Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) Dr. Vincent Olatunji made this known on Wednesday at the Strategic Roadmap And Action Plan( SRAP) 2023- 2027 Validation workshop in Abuja.

TheFact Daily recalled that on April 4, 2023, the Nigeria Data Protection bill was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives for consideration and passage through a letter from former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) will now replace the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) established by President Buhari in February 2022.

The commissioner said,” I am happy to announce that the data protection ecosystem is growing. We had very good news two days ago that we are happy to break here. That the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau is now a commission by law. Nigeria now has its Data Protection Act signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the 12th of June 2023.

“We know that the former administration under President Muhammadu Buhari started this journey under the former minister Isa Pantami. The other Government started it and this government took it up immediately.

“We need to work together Government, private sector, academia civil society groups we should work together.

“We agree that Nigeria is well positioned to move data protection ahead in Africa. We agree that Nigeria is well positioned to move The whole of Africa waiting for us,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary of, the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr William Alo said the federal government is committed to fostering a culture of trust and accountability in the digital sphere.

Alo said, “As we embark on this journey towards a more secure and responsible digital future, I want to emphasize the importance of inclusivity. Data protection is not a challenge that can be addressed by the government alone. It requires the active involvement and cooperation of all stakeholders—industry leaders, civil society organizations, academia, and the general public.

“By working together, we can create an ecosystem that protects the rights of individuals while fostering a vibrant and innovative digital economy.

“Together, let us embark on this validation workshop with a shared vision—a vision of a Nigeria where personal data is treated with the utmost respect, where individuals have control over their information, and where innovation thrives in an environment of trust,” he said.

The Director General National Information Technology Development Agency( NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa said there was a need to look into the key principles of data protection.

“Firstly, we need to prioritize the freedoms and rights of our citizens. Secondly, we need to promote transparency and accountability. And thirdly, we need to foster an enabling environment for innovation and economic growth.

“We can only create jobs when we are innovative and look at how we can create prosperity in our country, “ he said.

In his presentation, the chairman of the SRAP committee, Mr Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola said, “The whole idea is that this roadmap is intended to help identify some of those things we need to do to build the ecosystem so that we empower people to be able to have some kind of say and management over their private data.

“It’s their data, it’s your data. It’s my data. It’s not the data of some company. It’s not my name and the telephone number is mine. It doesn’t belong to Company X, so to speak.

He added, “In terms of our overall aspiration, we’re looking at Nigeria developing a data protection and privacy ecosystem, so that they are it’s not just about government, it’s about so many other things. One of the things you have to appreciate is that in this ecosystem, the owners of infrastructure, by and large, are the private sector”.

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