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NITDA to develop multi-billion naira data privacy sector in 2021 –DG

12 months ago | 32



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THE National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says the agency is set to develop a multi-billion naira data privacy sector for job creation in 2021. The NITDA Director-General, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, said this on Monday in Abuja at the virtual news conference to open the 2021 National Data Privacy Week. Data Privacy Week is a global event held every last week in January, while this year’s celebration falls between Jan. 25 and Jan. 28. Inuwa said that boosting the data privacy sector would be through consolidated implementation of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR). According to him, the NDPR established in Jan. 25, 2019 by Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is designed to guide the use of data in public places. “It will also meet the global principles on data protection, especially the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR),’’ the director-general said. He said that the NDPR recorded huge success between 2019 and 2020, through sustained public awareness, training, workshops for Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs) and Data Breach Investigation Team (DBIT). He said that other achievements were the implementation structure of NDPR that approved licences for DPCOs on data protection implementation, legal and political structure for sustainability. “In March 2020, NITDA was selected as a member of the Technical Working Group on Data Protection Laws Harmonisation and Localisation in Africa. “In December 2020, NITDA was appointed as full member of the Common Thread Network, a network of commonwealth nations’ data protection authorities. “In 2021, we are working on development of sectorial implementation toolkits and the objective is to get sector stakeholders to agree on a single, workable template for compliance in their sector. “We shall engage vigorous and experienced Nigeria-based institutions that will help us standardise and accredit data protection, information security training and certification. “We hope to develop a multi-billion naira sector that will create thousands of jobs for trainers, content providers and other professionals. “We are also going to re-jig our enforcement mechanism to improve compliance,” the NITDA boss said. He further said that data privacy was challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis which led to mental health crisis, thereby impeding compliance and enforcement of the regulation. “We are going to redouble our efforts in the direction of enforcement and compliance as data protection has become a pivot for the continued growth of the digital economy,’’ Inuwa said. He, however, said that the agency was going to create more awareness on the regulation, further work with the media to upscale its publicity and build capacity of officers on data protection management in collaboration with stakeholders. “Our current effort at enforcement is salutary but not nearly enough, we are considering all options to ensure we do not kill businesses while also ensuring businesses do not kill Nigerians through wanton abuse of their data,’’ he said. Inuwa called on all data controllers and processors to file their annual data audit report before March 15. The D-G emphasised that non-filing of their report was a punishable offence under the NDPR and the agency was set to fully enforce the provision this year. “Our audit reports for filed entities of 2019-2020 from some DPCOs show compliance level of financial services at 35 per cent, fast moving consumer goods at 14 per cent and energy at 10 per cent. “The consultancy sector compliance was at nine per cent, ICT at eight per cent, transport and logistics five per cent and others at 19 per cent. “With the direction we are moving on NDPR audit compliance filing, we are very glad that we have set out in the right way. “Our strategy of licensing DPCOs is yielding bounteous fruits as Nigeria now has more data protection experts per capita than any other African country,” the NITDA boss said. He further said that wealth was generated through the DPCO scheme, hence aligning with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to diversify economy, create sustainable jobs and digitally develop the country. Inuwa also said that strategies to implement the NDPR were helping lawmakers pass a befitting Data Protection Bill. He outlined activities to mark the week as Privacy Tech Expo, webinars on Privacy and Public Health Management – Lessons from COVID-19 – and National Virtual Class on Data Protection for Secondary Schools. Other activities he said would include webinar on NIN: Preserving Privacy; Promoting the Digital Economy, discussing the issues around the issuance of the National Identity Number and its implications on privacy and the digital economy. He added that on Jan. 28, Pantami, would anchor the Global Privacy Day, National Quiz Competition and a roundtable discussion comprising African Data Protection executives. Inuwa unveiled the official kits for the privacy week and commended their sponsors for support. NAN – Jan. 25, 2021 @ 19:08 GMT |

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