The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) is exploring partnership with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to deepen data protection and improve the culture of privacy across board.
According to the National Commissioner/CEO of the NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, data protection has become not just strategic but the bedrock of driving efficiency in the public service. He spoke during a recent official visit to the Director General of the BPSR, Mr. Dasuki Arabi in Abuja.
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“Knowing the important role of data in public service reforms, we are here to strengthen synergy for better outcomes,” the NDPB boss told the BPSR.
Adding: “When you are talking about reforms you are talking about digitalization; including the pattern and there is no way you can talk about reforms without identity.
“More importantly in the area of digitalization including all the patterns and there is no way you can talk about reforms without identity in the area of digitalization.”
Also recently, the Bureau engaged the NIS and IOM on cross-border data flow between Nigeria and Niger migration authorities.
Officials of NDPB, Nigeria Immigration Service and the International Organisation for Migration in Abuja
According to the NDPB’s Lead, Legal Enforcement & Regulations, Mr. Babatunde Bamigboye, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Olatunji, said full compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) by agencies such as the NIS and IOM will reinforce trust among data subjects, other relevant authorities as well as development partners.
Compliance with Nigeria’s data privacy and protection regulation cannot be ignored in line with global best practice to efficiently provide required services to persons within the sphere of operations by the Immigration Service and the IOM, Olatunji stressed.
With the BPSR, Olatunji said the bureau will work together in areas such as creating awareness, capacity building and enabling provision of the laws, NDPR, across the public service.
According to privacy ombudsman, government was already working to institutionalised data protection the public service. His words: “There was a circular issued by the SGF [Secretary to the Government of the Federation] for all MDAs[federal ministries, departments and agencies] in November 2022, to comply by the directive of having privacy policies, having their data protection officers
”It also directed them to ensure that they put in place adequate technical and organizational measures.”
He said these measures would protect the data of citizens and all vendors working with NDPR in the public services.
To Arabi, partnering with the NDPB will strengthen the public service reforms bureau to carry out its mandate with better results.
“We have installed a new pay regime in the public service; we have cleaned up of the personal payroll in the public service; deployed first electronic FOI portal in Nigeria.
“The bureau had restructured ministries to reduce their number, we have also reformed tax, budget, public financial management and due process in public procurement” Arabi said even as he stressed that the reforms cannot be effective without partnering with NDPB and leveraging on the benefits of data protection
His words: “We will collaborate to facilitate research on topical reforms issues, impact assessment; monitoring and evaluation.”