Dr Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) says the organisation’s data protection ecosystem is valued at more than N4 billion from 2019 to date.
Olatunji said this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to him, the time of signing the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in January 2019, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), yearly files the annual report of the regulation.
The national commissioner further said the report mirrors the achievements of the NDPR within the year, adding that the report revealed that the sector has immense opportunities; hence the need for its certification.
“As we speak, we have an ecosystem that has a combined value of over N4 billion, an ecosystem that has employed over 8,000 people who either work with Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs).
“We have 103 of them that we have licensed, we have even opened the portal for more to be licensed, we are adding more 43 DPCOs to be licensed, looking at increasing it to 150.
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“We have over three million registered companies with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), over 800 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and a minimum of 500,000 of these companies would be major data protection controllers.
“In Nigeria, how many certified data protection experts do we have, am not sure we have up to 25,000, so the gap of 475,000 is still there to be float.
“That is why we encourage people to go for certification in data protection, job is available for you, this is a virgin field,’’ he said.
According to him, anybody can be a Data Protection Officer in spite course of study, come into data privacy and protection field, understands what it takes.
“Some people will think you must be a lawyer or cybersecurity expert first, no, but they are interrelated.
“By the time you start working in this space, you will understand what you need to know the legal part of it, and the cybersecurity aspect.
“So Nigerians need to come into it and take up jobs because if within three and half years, the sector created over 8,000 jobs, that means something is happening there that people need to look into’’.
He added that from the conception of the NDPR and achievements recorded in line with global practices, it birthed the NDPB.
On the approval for the creation of the bureau by President Muhammadu Buhari, he said they engaged in a wide range of awareness to data subjects, data controllers, public and private organisations.
“We embarked on massive awareness on our social media platforms, on the data subjects in terms of consent, their rights on data usage and encourage them to know what their rights are.
“On the part of data controllers, they are over 800 MDAs and more than half of them are major data controllers, a lot of these organisations’ employees are more than 1,000 and they process their data daily.
“We have also been visiting organisations with the primary function of controlling data, educating them on the mandates of the bureau, encouraging them to do better with the data they manage.
“We are urging them to create private data policy written in clear terms and displayed, engage Data Protection Officers who will guide them through aligning themselves with the provisions of the NDPR,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the NDPB was launched in February 2022 following the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari and with the mandate to implement the NDPR and other data privacy issues