The Federal Government has stated that it is committed to providing data protection to digital platforms used by the Nigerian citizens.
Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, ‘Bosun Tijani, disclosed this at a two-day sensitisation workshop on data privacy and protection in Abuja on Thursday, August 31.
The workshop organised by the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) sought to sensitise the public on the requirements of the Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA).
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Tijani said it is important to build a structure around the regulation of data privacy and protection to ensure the digital advancement of the country.
“Data privacy is not just a matter of convenience. It is a fundamental human right and we should care about the data we generate and what it is being used for,” the minister said.
“As we embrace the digital age, it is crucial that personal and sensitive information of our citizens is maintained under the eyes of confidentiality.
“We are committed as a government to ensuring that every Nigerian can trust the digital platforms that he uses, knowing that his personal data will not be misused.
“We are taking proactive steps to strengthen our data protection framework as evident in the setting up of NDPC.
“We are working with stakeholders including the national assembly to enact robust data protection laws that are aligned with international standards.
“We will also normalise the culture of transparency among our citizens so that everyone is fully aware of how his data is used.”
The minister also stated that the Federal Government will work with all the stakeholders to ensure that Nigerians are aware of their rights and how they can protect their digital identity.
Tijani said data protection is not the sole responsibility of the government, adding that every individual should ensure people understand the value of their data and how they can protect themselves.
He urged data protection officers (DPOs), ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to ensure data privacy and protection.
“We must be responsible for this as we are the faces citizens interact with, it is important that we model what we want to see in the society. The digital economy is an era of growth and innovation that requires that we nurture it,” he said.
The national commissioner of the NDPC, Dr Vincent Olatunji, added the commission was engaging in rigorous sensitisation on the NDPA, and capacity building of DPOs and Nigerians.
Olatunji said many Nigerians ignorantly disclose and misuse their data.
Olatunji said the country needed over 500,000 certified DPOs because the skill is lacking.
“Another thing is the technology that will be used to drive data protection, we need indigenous solutions that can assist in building a data protection ecosystem,” he said
“The commission is working with the regulator of that sector, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to ensure they see and understand data protection as a major thing.”
He added that the commission is also working on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to guide activities in the sector.