The Level Of Data Compliance By Public Sector Stands At 9% – Dr. Olatunji

……. As Legislators promised to partner with the Commission on Data Protection Compliance

The National Commissioner/CEO of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), Dr Vincent Olatunji has called upon the public sector to reinforce data privacy and protection practices in the country.

Speaking on Thursday, during the Capacity Building Workshop for members of ICT & Cybercrime Committees, National Assembly on 7th December 2023 at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Olatunji said that the level of data compliance by the public sector stands at 9%.

“We are expecting the level of compliance by MDAs to increase from now. We are also creating awareness to ensure that all MDAs comply with the provisions of the law. By January 2024, we will release the data compliance statistics for the year 2023, Olatunji said.

Given the growing concern over data privacy compliance, the NDPC Boss who stressed the need to be data compliant said global bodies and international investors now consider data protection legislation and level of data compliance as standard requirements for investments.

On the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023, he said the new law signed in early June by President Bola Tinubu is a significant shift to regaining global confidence not only in Nigeria’s emerging digital economy but also in the new efforts of the current administration to drive development and boost the economy with investments and new jobs. The Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023 will improve the country’s global data privacy ranking and endear it to international investors.

According to Olatunji, “One of the responsibilities of the Commission is to promote the advancement of technologies that protect personal data, following established international standards, and to ensure that data protection obligations are met.”

To this effort, he said the commission will be working to firm up on an implementation of a standardized framework allowing every part and section of the law to be broken down into specific activities for people to fully understand “what we intend to do going forward with the law that Mr. President has graciously signed.” The objective is to ensure consistency and clarity concerning the implementation of data protection standards across all sectors all of which will involve issuing guidance notices on key provisions of the law as they relate to the lawful basis of data processing, data subjects’ rights, compliance audit returns, and cross-border data transfer.

According to Dr. Olatunji, “The Commission is committed to promoting a culture of data privacy and data protection, and to ensure that Nigerian private and public organizations align with national laws and acts concerning data protection.”

He added, “We are fully aware of this responsibility and will not hesitate to penalize any organization that fails to comply with these laws. We aim to create a safe environment for organizations and instill confidence in data subjects conducting business in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, the Chairman, of the Senate Committee on ICT & Cybersecurity, Senator Shuaibu Afolabi Salisu said that data is important as a national critical resource.

He called on the Commission to create awareness such as e-magazine and look beyond traditional awareness. He suggested that the Commission can buy airtime, once a week on National Television to regularly create enlightenment on Data protection.

He also suggested that a Data Privacy club can be established to create awareness among the youth.

“We as a Legislator must remain as Ambassadors and evangelists of Data Protection, Senator Shuaibu Afolabi Salisu said.

He promised that the outcome of the workshop would be presented to the leadership of the House, Senate, and the House of Representatives for resolution.

In his remarks, the Chairman, of the House Committee on ICT & Cybersecurity, Hon. Stanley Olajide Adedeji said that the next Gold in Nigeria is Data. He said the way Data protection is handled must change as we need to protect and guard our data jealously.

“If we have the right data control in place, our data will be protected. When we can protect the data, it will lead to the protection of the National Security of the country, Hon. Stanley Olajide Adedeji said.

He further promised to partner with the NDPC while calling on the Commission to notify all income/ revenue generating agencies such as FIRS, and NCC not to handle national data with levity.

Data compliance is a process that identifies the applicable governance for data protection, security, storage, and other activities and establishes policies, procedures, and protocols ensuring data is fully protected from unauthorized access and use, malware, and other cybersecurity threats.