…Says Nigeria has more data protection experts in Africa
…Issues Deadline for Data Privacy Compliance
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director General, Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa has called on the National Assembly to fast-track the passage of the Data Protection Bill into law.
Addressing journalists during a webinar session ahead of the National Privacy Week 2021, he assured that NITDA would strategize to create a workable, credible implementation process that would assist the National Assembly in its quest to pass a Data Protection Bill.
‘We are proud to say the NDPR implementation has the most robust consultative process in our recent history as a nation. This autochthonous approach has deepened the NDPR more than we could have imagined.
‘‘While we await the passage of the Data Protection Bill, NITDA will continue to lay necessary structures to deepen data protection implementation in Nigeria,’’ he said.
According to him, in line with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) which was designed to meet the global principles on data protection and issued on 25th January, 2019, the agency has recorded a lot of remarkable feats through sustained public awareness, implementation structure, legal and political structure for sustainability among other NDPR implementation strategies.
Inuwa noted that its strategy of licensing Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO) is yielding fruits for the country.
He said currently, Nigeria has more data protection experts per capita than any other African country.
In terms of implementation, the NITDA boss said a unique implementation structure for the NDPR was also created. Unlike the GDPR and other laws, he explained that the NDPR creates a set of licensees who have proven expertise in data protection implementation.
‘‘These DPCOs are licensed to provide data protection compliance, audit, training and related services to all Data Controllers and Processors. So far, we have licensed seventy DPCOs and have received many more applications which are currently being treated.
‘‘This strategy has recorded compliance from many organizations than could be imagined. For instance, our audit reports for the period 2019-2020 shows the percentage of compliance among the number of filing entities.
The DG revealed that the NDPR implementation recorded compliance from many organizations than could be imagined with the financial sector leading by 35%, fast moving consumer goods 14%, energy 10% and consultancy 9%.
‘‘However, with the direction, we are moving on NDPR audit compliance filing, we are very glad that we have set out in the right way. Our strategy of licensing DPCOs is yielding bounteous fruits as Nigeria now has more data protection experts per capita than any other African country.’
“We are considering all options to ensure we do not kill businesses, while also ensuring businesses do not kill Nigerians through wanton abuse of their data.”
He said aside from the compliance focus, NITDA has also inaugurated the Data Breach Investigation Team (DBIT).
“This team is made up of IT Professionals, Lawyers and the Police Force. Their assignment is to investigate allegations of breach and make recommendations of actions to be taken on each case, through the Implementation Committee,” he added.
Furthermore, Inuwa reiterated that deadline for the filling of annual data audit report by all data controllers and processors still remains 15th March, 2021.
He emphasized that noncompliance is a punishable offence which the agency is set to fully enforce the legal provisions this year.
Speaking on the Special Privacy Week organized and hosted by NITDA, Nigeria will mark her National Privacy Week 2021 starting Tuesday with a line of activities that includes a Privacy Tech Expo, Privacy and Public Health Management – Lessons from COVID-19 on Tuesday 26th, National Virtual Class on Data Protection (for Secondary Schools), NIN: Preserving Privacy; Promoting the Digital Economy on Wednesday 27th January, Global Privacy Day and Executive Roundtable with the theme: Big Tech and Privacy: Evolving an African Data Strategy which would comprise of representatives of Africa’s big tech, the African Union, international law firm and the government on Thursday 28th January.