The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali-Pantami, has appended his pass mark on the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation, NDPR, initiated by the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the NDPR is a data privacy regulatory framework established in 2019 with a view to ensuring the protection of personal data of Nigerians.
Unveiling the NDPR 2019-2020 Performance Report in Abuja on Friday, the minister said the legal document is a tool for fostering developmental regulation and ensuring digital economy.
According to the minister, the NDPR is an implementation tool for the eight pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS.
“The first pillar of the NDEPS is Developmental Regulation and the NDPR gives confidence to citizens that their data is safe as long as they are innocent,’’ he said.
According to him, the integrity of the digital economy relies on protection of data and the NDPR supports the development of digital economy.
Mr Pantami further said that the developmental regulation pillar of NDEPS facilitates the enactment of appropriate legislation that ensures protection of digital technology infrastructure.
“It enhances national security, supports issuance of converged regulations, and addresses multiple taxation for health business environment.’’
He commended achievements through the NDPR, adding that it had created 2,686 jobs for Data Protection Officers, and generated more than N2 billion in the first year of implementation.
Mr Pantami added that 42 African countries out of 53 who had formulated their data protection laws, made reference to the NDPR, hence recognising Nigeria as the giant in Africa.
He, however, commended NITDA on the report and urged them to circulate same to the National Assembly, embassies, international agencies, government agencies, private sector players, the academia, other stakeholders for better implementation.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, said the concept of launching the NDPR in 2019 was beyond protection of personal data.
Mr Inuwa said it is helping the country diversify to digital economy and also in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda on lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
According to him, the regulation created jobs and licenses 70 Data Protection Compliance Organisations, DPCOs.
“With the NDPR, NITDA was appointed as the Vice Chair of the African Union on Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa.
Tunde Balogun, Convener, Association of DPCOs, urged NITDA to focus on enforcement of the regulation and leave its operationalisation to DPCOs.
Dr Saidu Abubakar, Chairman, NITDA Governing Board, said that good achievements such as the impact of the NDPR should be projected more.
Mr Abubakar added that such achievements are improving the socio-economic development of citizens and the nation.