Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Nigeria’s minister of Communications and Digital Economy today, 30th November 2021, informed the forum of Ministers attending the Future Tech Forum in London, that the protection of citizens data in the country is not just a secondary legislation but a constitutional requirement.
The Minister who addressed his global counterparts at a forum titled; ‘The Future of Trust in Data as a Force for Good’, disclosed that the Nigeria Data Protection regulation (NDPR) 2019 is in full effect to build trust between the government and the governed, with non-compliance attracting a stiff penalties.
Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson to the minister quoted him saying “Nigeria already has some policies in place to ensure the protection of citizens data and to also build trust between government and citizens”.
Pantami further there is also a subsidiary legislation called the guidelines for processing personal data which gives impetus to the NDPR and assurance of confidentiality to citizens.
“Thirdly, government also invested in creating awareness among the citizenry to enable understanding of both the regulation and government’s willingness to adhere to the dictates of law regarding confidentiality”
Pantami further disclosed that prior to the NDPR of 2019, the Cyber crimes Act of 2015, provides for “lawful intercept which is only effected when a security institution establishes a Prima Facie case of a crime, otherwise, the confidentiality of citizens communications and correspondences are guaranteed.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has further engaged the services of Data Protection Compliance officers (DPCOs) to further create awareness and serve as middlemen between the government and aggrieved citizens in addressing breaches where they may occur.
The Minister also noted that data collection played a significant role in aiding government’s proactiveness in curtailing and managing the COVID 19 challenge in Nigeria.
In attendance were the sector ministers from the United States of America (USA), China, Korea, Kenya, Japan, Sweden, Senegal, the European Union, Canada, Singapore to mention but a few.