By Yusuf A. Yusuf
The National Commissioner for the newly established Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, disclosed that Nigerians ought to know their rights to data in terms of consent, accessibility, storage, and a host of others.
Mr Olatunji stated this on Tuesday during the official launching of the Bureau’s logo and website in Abuja.
According to him, the agancy’s mandate is multifaceted, including capacity building for the country’s data processors in the private and public sectors.
He said: “We’ve also identified capacity building because the issue of data protection and privacy is global. We should be globally competitive in your capacity. What you’re doing here should be at par with what your colleague in the U.S, Asia, and U.K.”
Mr Olatunji also disclosed that within the first two weeks of the establishment of the agency, the Chinese telecommunications equipment company, Huawei, had conducted capacity training for member staff of the NDPB.
He further stated that talks were ongoing with American multinational financial services corporation, MasterCard to establish capacity training in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali-Pantami, highlighted the relevance of the data protection laws and infrastructure around the globe.
According to him, the essence of the initiative is to attract investors who will be willing to stake their resources in an economy that can guarantee the privacy and confidentiality of its data.
Mr Pantami asked the new bureau to harmonize them, adding that data protection should not only be centered within the public sectors but should also cut across the private sectors.
He said: “[In the] NIMC Act, 2007, under Section 26, there is a form of data protection in which nobody is allowed to get access to NIMC’s database without the approval of the commission. In NITDA Act 2007, Section 6 under articles J and K, there is a form of data protection under article A to come up with the legislation in the first place.
“It is now in the process of being integrated into full-fledged legislation by the National Assembly. Under the Nigerian Communications Commission Act 2003, there was no mention of data protection.
“The commission came up with two subsidiary legislations, in which operators are not allowed to get access or release certain information without the consent of data subject.
“[In the] National Health Act of 2014, there is a form of data protection and many more.”