The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) on Monday highlighted the progress in advancement of data privacy and protection in the country.
The National Commissioner, Dr Vincent Olatunji, said at a media roundtable in Lagos that cumulative revenue of the sector was estimated at N5.5 billion and over 9, 500 jobs had been created so far.
Olatunji said that the licensing of additional 48 Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs) increased the number of DPCOs to 138.
According to the National Commissioner, this has boosted wealth and job creation in the ecosystem.
He said that Nigeria was prepared for a leading role in advancing data protection and exploring the opportunities of the global digital economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NDPB was established in February 2002 by President Muhammadu Buhari as the nation’s data protection authority and to fully implement the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) issued in 2019.
Olatunji, while highlighting the progress of the bureau, reassured citizens that every data controller and data processor within or outside Nigeria would be held accountable for any unlawful processing of personal data from their jurisdiction.
‘’We are investigating over 110 data controllers and data processors for various degrees of data privacy and protection breaches.
‘’The most worrisome are those in the financial and the telecom sectors four banks, online lending companies, one telecom company and one gaming company are being investigated.
‘’The vulnerabilities in these sectors are high partly due to the capabilities of intrusive mobile apps,’’ he said.
According to him, when you factor in lack of due diligence on the part of data controllers in engaging data processors or vendors that have access to personal data of customers. you find in some cases abuse and violation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.
He said that the position of government was that those who were into data would have nothing to fear but the consequences of their acts and omissions might constitute a civil or a criminal liability.
He said he was particularly glad that the Nigeria Police Force was currently working with the bureau in this regard.
According to him, the bureau has been carrying out strategic awareness campaign across the country it recalibrated the “Adopt–A-School” Awareness Programme which is now called “Catch – them–Young.
Olatunji also the Chief executive Officer said that the bureau was able to reach no fewer than 3,000 students and pupils in about 70 schools with the message of data privacy.
The National Commissioner said that in the wake of Covid 19 pandemic and the adoption of online platforms for education, this class of citizens have become vulnerable to diverse abuses in the digital space.
According to him, as a result of stakeholders engagements, there is 100 per cent increase in the rate of integration of the public sector into Data Privacy and Protection Framework.
He said that the target was to create a pool of 250,000 globally competent data privacy and protection experts as well as organised 15 capacity building programmes for members of staff of the Bureau.
Olatunji said that the Federal Executive Council on Jan. 25 2023 approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill which would be transmitted to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill.
He, however, said that the bureau would accord priority to awareness, capacity building, passage of the Nigeria Data Protection Bill and collaboration among others. (NAN)