The Nigerian Data Protection Bureau( NDPB)has urged Nigerians to take advantage of the data protection ecosystem, saying that about 490,000 jobs are available in the privacy space.
The National Commissioner of the Bureau, Dr. Vincent Olatunji made the call at the one-day capacity building workshop on Data Protection and Privacy for members of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) over the weekend in Abuja.
Olatunji while speaking to over 40 IT reporters at the training said, there was a huge shortage in the data privacy space, therefore, if well harnessed would create millions of jobs for Nigerians.
“In Nigeria, we have about 500,000 data controllers and processors, and according to law, each of these data controllers are meant to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) that ensures data protection compliance by the controller.
“Presently, we are barely 10,000 certified DPOs and that number does not commensurate with the number of data controllers in the country.
“So this is a completely new sector that will create jobs for the country. Part of the target of the digital economy sector is to create two million jobs in 24 months. You can now imagine if the data privacy system alone already has about 490,000 jobs waiting,” he said .
Olatunji said that with the establishment of the NDPB, the country was well-positioned in the global best practices on data protection and privacy ecosystem.
He added that the Bureau had embarked on massive awareness and enlightenment in order for journalists to see the potentials in this sector, adding that Nigeria needs to be prepared to be relevant in the current digital economy.
“And I challenge you too, don’t rely on what you are doing alone. An average human being should have multiple sources of income to sustain ourselves. Who says you can’t become a DPO? You can key into it.
“No educational background required. If you study History, Arabic Studies it Bible Studies, you can become a DPO. As long as you can read and write. You understand what it is about. It is not a big deal.
As the Nigeria digital protection bill is still waiting to be passed into law by the National Assembly, Olatunji explained the importance of data protection and privacy, which is increasingly becoming a global best practice, even as he pointed out that there are subsidiary regulations against breach of data privacy.
The National commissioner further stated that, ”through the model that we have put in place, we have been able to create 9000 jobs within two years.
He added that, ”we are trying to put in place a certification mechanism and our target is to ensure that we build the capacity of about 50,000 Nigerians every year.
“So in the next 5 years, on our own, we are looking at building that capacity of 250,000 Nigerians. And the good thing is that it doesn’t have any age limit,” he said .
Head of the legal unit of the Bureau, Babatunde Bamigboye during his presentation, said the data protection and privacy is paramount because it ensures confidentiality and integrity of individuals data.
He added that data there are 35 countries in Africa that have already passed data protection acts.