The Federal Government has said that it is working with all stakeholders and the National Assembly towards the enactment and implementation of robust data protection laws that is in tandem with international standard.
Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani made this known on Thursday, at the sensitization workshop on Data Privacy and Protection in Nigeria, organized by the Nigeria Data Protection Commission(NDPC), in Abuja.
Dr. Tijani said that the data protection laws would hold organisations accountable for how they collect, process and store data, noting that government is taking proactive steps to strengthen Nigeria data protection framework.
According to the Minister, government is committed to ensuring that every Nigerian can trust the digital platforms they use, having the assurance that their personal data will be kept confidential.
“Data privacy is not a matter of convenience, it is fundamental human rights. We are working with all stakeholders including the national assembly towards enactment and implementation of robust data protection laws,” he said.
The Minister harped on the need to prioritize the implementation of stronger data security and protection.
“The data privacy and protection conversation should go beyond the technicalities, they should become values that we all hold strongly,” Tijani asserted.
Also, he urged all to work towards a Nigeria where the data of every individual is respected and secured.
On his part, the Commissioner, NDPC, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, said the sensitization workshop was aimed at creating awareness for Nigerians to get familiar with the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection law.
” The ecosystem is still emerging in Nigeria, so we need to do a lot of awareness and that is part of the reason why we are here today. Now that we have a law, let people know what we have in the law and what they need to do to ensure that they comply with the provisions of the law. So awareness is going to be continuous,” he said.
He stressed the need to develop home grown solutions in the area of ecosystem and technology that can assist in driving compliance with the data privacy and protection law.
“The next thing will also be capacity building, as we already mentioned that we need over 500,000 certified Data Protection Officers(DPOs in the country, there is need to re-skill and retool and use unemployed graduates and even retired people who can serve as DPOs in different organisations,” the Commissioner said.
Dr. Olatunji however called for partnerships and support from Nigerians in the Commission’s efforts to deepen the importance of data privacy and protection in the country.
Also speaking at the event, the Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who commended the NDPC for the milestone, highlighted the importance of data protection to digital economy.
While drawing attention to areas in which data privacy and protection could boost Artificial Intelligence, Abdullahi urged all to throw thei weigh behind the policy.
For the Managing Director, Nigeria Communications Satellite(NIGCOMSAT), it is pivotal for Nigerians to study and get accustomed to the data privacy and protection law, this according to him, would make implementation of the policy easier.
He assured of the organisation’s support for the initiative birthed by the NDPC, pledging to ensure that objective of the initiative is achieved.