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Digital Economy: Over 2000 jobs created through NDPR- Pantami

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has said that about 2,686 Jobs has been created for youths and young Nigerians through the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), and he is very proud of this milestone.

Pantami made this known at the Public Presentation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) Performance Report 2019-2020 in Abuja.

“I am proud to see that we have through the NDPR added 2,686 job roles, thereby creating massive opportunities for young Nigerians to be recruited as Data Protection Officers, Data Protection Compliance Organisations, Compliance officers among others.

“The DPCOs have also earned over N2 billion in the first year of implementation. This is the intent of our digital economy policy- empowering Nigerians in a way that ensures global competitiveness.”

Expressing his pleasure, Pantami recalled how the NDPR was birthed to serve as support in the development of the digital economy of the country thus he noted that the NDPR aligns perfectly with the developmental regulatory pillar under National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

“The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued by me on the 25th January, 2019 and we started by developing and implementing a National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.

“The development of our National Digital Economy is anchored on the following 8 pillars as stated in NDEPS: Developmental Regulation;Digital Literacy & Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure;
Digital Services Development & Promotion;
Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society & Emerging Technologies; and
Indigenous Content Development & Adoption. It is often said that data is the oil of the digital economy.”

Pantami however added that “the Regulation meets the objectives of the Developmental Regulation Pillar of NDEPS which include: creating a dynamic regulatory environment that fosters, rather than hinders, the development of a digital economy; facilitating the enactment of appropriate legislation that ensures protection of digital technology infrastructure and enhances national security; and supporting the issuance of converged regulations, as well as address the issue of multiple taxation in order to create a healthy business environment for the development of the Nigerian Digital Economy.”

Furthermore, the minister reiterated his commitment and commended the Director General NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullah for not only continuing with the vision, but for providing leadership to his committed and highly professional staff who have demonstrated excellent capacity to translate leadership vision to reality thus

“I am also very proud of Nigeria’s appointment as the Vice Chair of the African Union’s Data Protection Harmonisation Working Group. Being recognised among 26 African countries is a great recognition of the hard work and innovation we are investing in this regard.” He said.

“My assessment of the great work done so far, I still see room for more enforcement. NITDA, as the data protection authority, has my full support to ensure entities who want only breach personal data are brought to book as soon as possible. I am aware of some quick loan service providers who use personal data to defame and threaten their customers, such issues should be looked into in line with the NDPR. I also want to state that non-filing of data protection audit is a violation of the law. Enforcement of this provision would be more vigorously pursued going forward.

“This therefore brings me to the issue of Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO). I encourage NITDA to increase regulatory oversight over current DPCOs and carefully consider current pending applications in line with its published criteria and processes.

“The Ministry is working hard to make Nigeria a leading light in the digital economy of Africa and on the global stage”, he added.

The Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi,noted that the NDPR has helped NITDA to have an overview of the state of data governance in the reporting entity.
He added that the report have also encouraged government to understand requisite intervention points to improve data governance, cyber-security and privacy protection.

“The goal of the report is to give all stakeholders the opportunity to understand how the Agency has fared in the implementation of the NDPR. Maintaining understanding between industry players would generate further research and provide guidance to other regulators, partners, data controllers, data processors and other stakeholders.”

The Director General had made a compilation of all the organisations who filed their annual audit report for the year 2019.

“Submission of an audit report does not conclusively indicate compliance with all tenets of data protection, this list shows organisations who have complied with the audit filing requirement of the NDPR, which is a key milestone towards compliance.”
It is important to note that non-filing of the NDPR audit report is a breach of the Regulation”.

Mallam Kashifu added that, “the Report, being the first of its kind is aimed at highlighting key initiatives, successes and challenges of implementing the Regulation.
“The NDPR being a flagship of the NDEPS, is expected to be used as a learning curve for Nigeria and Africa on how to effectively implement global laws with due consideration of local peculiarities and opportunities.”

The NDPR was issued on 25th January, 2019 pursuant to Section 6(a,c) of the NITDA Act, 2007. The Regulation covers every person subject to the laws of Nigeria, whether resident in Nigeria or not. It is aimed at safeguarding the rights of persons to privacy; fostering safe conduct for the transactions involving the exchange of personal data; preventing manipulation of personal data; and ensuring that Nigerian businesses remain competitive in international trade through the safeguards afforded by a just and equitable legal regulatory framework.

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