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FG directs MDAs to embrace data protection laws



Data protection

The Federal Government has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to comply with the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation.

The directive was contained in a service-wide circular issued and dated November 7, 2022, with Ref No. SGF/OP/l/S.3/Xll/186.

Head, Legal Enforcement and Regulations, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, Babatunde Bamigboye, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the circular which was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is to be implemented with immediate effect.

He said the circular was to the effect that MDAs should designate appropriate officers as their Data Protection Officers who would on regular basis advise management on data processing activities of their organisation and ensure compliance with the provisions of the NDPR and all matters relating to the protection of the privacy, rights and freedom of data subjects.

They are also mandated to forward the name and contact details of the DPOs to Nigeria Data Protection Bureau for documentation and requisite induction training.

Others are: “Appoint licensed Data Protection Compliance Organisations who will guide the MDAs through compliance framework and file their annual reports with the NDPB.

“Make appropriate budgetary provision for annual Data Protection Audit compliance process and capacity building of Data Protection Officers as well as other staff.

“On an annual basis, file the report of their Data Protection Audit to the NDPB not later than the March 30 of every year.

“The implementation of the circular is with immediate effect,” Bamigboye stated.

Speaking on the development, the National Commissioner and CEO of 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.

Olatunji said, “As an agency of government, we are cheered by this development because it clearly demonstrates the preparedness of public sector organisations 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.

“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 Nigeria.

“MDAs may wish to make enquiries at the headquarters of NDPB at No. 5 Donau Crescent Maitama, Abuja or visit www.ndpb.gov.ng,” he said.

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