Stakeholders harp on importance of data protection legislation

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As the nation moves toward its digital transformation plan, stakeholders in the digital communication industry have emphasized the necessity of putting the primary data protection laws statute in place.

In Nigeria, there is currently no legislation governing data protection, however there are related laws.

The minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Ali Pantami, said that when the law is passed, it will address the data privacy and confidentiality of Nigerians. The national validation workshop on the data protection bill was organized by the Nigeria Digital Identification Development Project Nigeria (ID4D) in collaboration with the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) and held yesterday in Abuja.

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“The growth of Nigeria’s digital economy drives innovations and free flow of data which in turn implies the need to safeguard the rights, freedom and privacy of citizens. At the core of data protection, legislation is the desire to protect individuals’ right to privacy of their information and to secure lives and properties.

“This is achieved through the implementation of legislations, policies and regulations on data privacy and protection. As we all know, the data been generated today is largely, not only in Africa but globally.
“Huge quantity of data is being generated and we must all have a legislative in place to ensure that there is confidentiality and privacy of that data that’s being generated and if care is not taken that data that is being generated will be abused, particularly in the fourth industrial revolution where data is the key, whatever you do in the industrial revolution data is the key,” the minister said.
He said further that in some countries of the world the commercialisation of citizen’s data is paramount, it is while we are very proactive in Nigeria in order to ensure that there was no vacuum. We signed up the Nigerian data protection regulations and immediately we commence the process of principal legislation and the reason for the Nigerian data protection legislation is to ensure that there is no vacuum.

National commissioner/CEO, NDPB Dr Vincent Olatunji in his welcome message highlighted the importance of data protection legislation in Nigeria saying that people’s data requires protection.

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He said, “Relevant arrangement of law will benefits Nigerians in the society, adding that data protection apply to all work places, businesses, society and groups etc.

Coordinator, Nigeria Digital ID for Development Project (ID4D), Solomon Musa Odole said that the organisation is ready to give support to any legal and institution flame work to access services in Nigeria.

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