The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has announced the commencement of its National data privacy awareness week.
In a press statement issued by the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, the agency highlighted that the importance of the week is “to underscore the importance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR)law to Nigeria’s digital economy”.
According to the statement, the weeklong public awareness program has been planned to focus on DATA PRIVACY IN A DIGITAL ECONOMY.
It may be recalled that the Federal Government last year issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) to govern the processing of sensitive personal data in Nigeria. A statement from NITDA on January 25, 2019 during the issuance of the Regulation, indicated that the Regulation was issued to safeguard the rights of Nigerians to privacy, enhance security of data, improve ease of doing business in Nigeria and to create economic opportunities for Nigerians.
“The short-term goal is to enable Nigeria to achieve the Adequacy Requirement of leading countries by the year 2022”.
The agency in its regulatory duties has however observed that many Nigerians are unaware of the implications of this regulation which is at the heart of a digital economy.
“Owing to the serious impact of this Regulation to Nigeria’s digital economy, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Federal Agency which has the direct responsibility to implement the Regulation, has concluded plans to host a public awareness program on this law.
“Data Protection law is at the heart of a digital economy. It provides a legal framework for many transactions involving natural persons. One positive implication of the Regulation is that it has put Nigeria among the league of nations able to conduct safe electronic business transactions across borders.
“A National Data Privacy Week, has therefore been scheduled as a critical public enlightenment event, to last from January 23 to 28.”
“The privacy week is an opportunity to create more awareness, celebrate the nation’s successes, evaluate missed opportunities and strategize for the coming years.”
“At the end of the week, it is hoped that there would be a significantly improved public awareness on data privacy protection and help for businesses and government to improve their digital economy preparedness,” the statement read.
Some of the events scheduled to hold during the privacy week includes a media outreach, orientations across public and private organisations, public workshops, Debate competition for secondary schools and a National symposium on data protection.
The agency further called on the need for more strategic programmes aimed at increasing public awareness and support for the Regulation.
It stated that “this is important considering the Regulation’s role in implementing the three-point vision of the present Administration, namely: security, job creation and accountability.”
“The Data Privacy Awareness program therefore offers an opportunity for MDAs to fully understand the scope and operations of the Regulation so as to give it their full support by implementing it, “the agency noted
NITDA further disclosed the agency has in one year responded to over 2,500 enquiries and comments from within and outside Nigeria, especially from the private sector. The Agency has trained media executives, the police and Data Breach Investigators, Data Protection Officers, Data Protection Compliance Organisations, Start-ups, public servants etc. In the year under review, the Agency began engagement with the European Data Protection Office to enable interested Nigerian businesses to comply faster with the provisions of the European GDPR.