By Micheal Eyibio
In what human rights activists tagged as moves toward advancing fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerians in the area of privacy and personal data, the Federal Government has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply with the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) provisions with immediate effect.
In the circular the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha, said MDAs should designate appropriate officers as their Data Protection Officers (DPOs) who will on regular basis advise management on data processing activities of their organization.
The DPOs, he added should ensure compliance with the provisions of the NDPR and all matters relating to protection of the privacy, rights and freedom of data subjects;
The SGF ordered that MDAs should forward the name and contact details of the DPOs to Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) for documentation and requisite induction training, appoint licensed DPCOs who will guide the MDAs through compliance framework and file their annual reports with the NDPB.
Mustapha, said: “Make appropriate budgetary provision for annual Data Protection Audit compliance process and capacity building of Data Protection Officers as well as other staff
“And on annual basis, file the report of their Data Protection Audit to the NDPB not later than the 30th day of March of every year.”
The National Commissioner, NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, lauds federal government for taking this historic step towards advancing fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerian citizens and residents particularly in the area of privacy.
“As an agency of government, we are cheered by this development because it clearly demonstrates the preparedness of public sector organizations and functionaries in providing an enabling environment for the growth of our digital economy.
“With this circular, over 200 million Nigerian citizens now have additional reference to call in aid in order to protect lives and livelihoods in a data driven ecosystem.” He said.
Olatunji, said the Bureau will continue to cooperate with stakeholders so that the numerous benefits of lawful data processing such as job and wealth creation can spread to all nooks and crannies of the country.
MDAs may wish to make enquiries at the headquarters of NDPB at No. 5 Donau Crescent Maitama, Abuja or visit www.ndpb.gov.ng.
Signed: Babatunde Bamigboye,
Head, Legal Enforcement and Regulations.