The Federal Government of Nigeria has created an organisation to be saddled with the protection Nigerians’ data known as Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB).
According to a statement from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the establishment of the Bureau was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ministry noted that the approval of the President followed a request made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami.
In the absence of a substantive body to oversee data protection, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has filled in the gap by coming up with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), which is being enforced by the agency. However, the newly established Bureau is now to take up the responsibility.
“The NDPB has been established in line with global best practice and will focus on data protection and privacy for the country, among others.
“The successful implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria has significantly increased the adoption of data platforms and accelerated the datafication of our society. This has increased the importance of having an institution that focuses on data protection and privacy,” the Ministry stated.
It added that: “The issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in January 2019, as a subsidiary legislation to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act 2007, has increased awareness about the need for data protection and privacy.”
The Bureau, the government said, would be responsible for consolidating the gains of the NDPR and supporting the process for the development of a primary legislation for data protection and privacy.
Buhari was said to have also approved the recommendation of the Ministe for Dr. Vincent Olatunji to serve as the National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau. Dr. Olatunji hails from Ekiti State and, at the time of his appointment, was the Director of the eGovernment Development and Regulations Department at NITDA.
According to the statement, the appointment takes effect immediately.