Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said on Friday that the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) is a tool to encourage development regulation and ensure the digital economy.
Pantami said this at the Public Presentation of the NDPR Performance Report, 2019-2020, by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja.
The NDPR, established on January 25, 2019, is designed to guarantee protection, prevent the manipulation of personal data, guarantee that Nigerian companies are competitive in the international space by safeguarding data through a legal regulatory framework, among others.
Pantami explained that the NDPR was formulated as subsidiary legislation designed to coincide with all fundamental principles of data protection in accordance with global practices.
The minister also said that the regulation is an implementation tool for the eight pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
“The first pillar of NDEPS is Development Regulation and NDPR gives citizens confidence that their data is safe as long as it is innocent,” he said.
According to him, the integrity of the digital economy is based on data protection and the NDPR supports the development of the digital economy.
He also said that the regulatory pillar of the development of NDEPS facilitates the enactment of appropriate legislation that guarantees the protection of the digital technology infrastructure.
“It improves national security, supports the issuance of convergent regulations, and addresses multiple taxation for the healthcare business environment.”
He praised the achievements through the NDPR, adding that it had created 2,686 jobs for data protection officers and generated more than N2 billion in the first year of implementation.
Pantami added that 42 African countries out of the 53 that had formulated their data protection laws made reference to the NDPR, thus recognizing Nigeria as the giant of Africa.
However, he praised the NITDA for the report and urged them to distribute it to the National Assembly, embassies, international agencies, government agencies, private sector actors, academia and other stakeholders for better implementation. .
Kashifu Inuwa, Managing Director of NITDA, said that the concept of launching the NDPR in 2019 is beyond the protection of personal data.
Inuwa said he is helping the country diversify towards the digital economy and also in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
He mentioned that the regulation created jobs and licenses 70 Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs).
“With NDPR, NITDA was appointed Vice President of the African Union on Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa.
Mr. Tunde Balogun, DPCO Association Coordinator, urged NITDA to focus on implementing the regulation and leave its implementation to the DPCOs.
Dr. Saidu Abubakar, Chairman of the NITDA Governing Board, said that good achievements such as the impact of NDPR should be more projected.
Abubakar added that such achievements are improving the socio-economic development of the citizens and the nation. (YAYA)