Tinubu Signs Data Protection Bill Into Law
President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has signed the Nigeria Data Protection Bill, 2023 into law.
Naijanewshub.com.ng gathered that Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner, Nigeria Data Protection Commission, (NDPC), made the disclosure at the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) validation workshop in Abuja.
Information Nigeria reports that the Nigeria Data Protection Act, 2023 provides a legal framework for the protection of personal information, and the practice of data protection in Nigeria.
The bill was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives for consideration and passage on Tuesday, 4 April 2023 via a letter from former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The new law, now an Act, establishes the Nigeria Data Protection Commission and replaces the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) established by former President Buhari in February 2022.
The Commission will be led by a National Commissioner with the responsibility of regulating the processing of personal information.
Another mandate of the Commission is to foster the development of personal data protection technologies, in accordance with recognised international good practices and to ensure compliance with data protection obligations.
Olatunji who expressed delight over the growth of Nigeria’s data protection ecosystem said that “the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau is now a commission by law. Nigeria now has its Data Protection Act signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 12th of June 2023.”
While appreciating the efforts of the former administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari who started the journey under the former Minister Isa Pantami, the National Commissioner stressed the need for effective partnership and stakeholder engagement especially in the areas of awareness and sensitization.
“We agree that Nigeria is well positioned to move data protection ahead in Africa. We agree that Nigeria is well positioned to move. The whole of Africa is waiting for us.
“In Nigeria, we have identified over 500,000 job opportunities in the Data Protection and Privacy ecosystem which is in line with one of the campaign mantra of the current administration to create million jobs in the digital economy sector in 12 months,” he stated.
On his part, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Williams Alo, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to fostering a culture of trust and accountability in the digital sphere.
“We can create an ecosystem that protects the rights of individuals while fostering a vibrant and innovative digital economy.
“Together, let us embark on this validation workshop with a shared vision—a vision of a Nigeria where personal data is treated with the utmost respect, where individuals have control over their own information and where innovation thrives in an environment of trust,” he admonished.
The Director General, National Information Technology Development, Kashifu Inuwa, in his remarks, stressed the importance of data as the currency of the digital economy, and urged the committee to look at the key principles for data protection.
“Firstly, we need to prioritize freedoms and rights of our citizens. Secondly, we need to promote transparency and accountability. And thirdly, we need to foster an enabling environment for innovation and economic growth.
“We can only create jobs when we are innovative and look at how we can create prosperity in our country,” he said.
The Committee Chairman, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, said the roadmap “is intended to help identify some of those things we need to do to build the ecosystem so that we empower people to be able to have some kind of say and management over their own private data.”
Ajijola also emphasised the need for more awareness and sensitization to build a robust data protection and privacy ecosystem which is inclusive and viable.