Pantami lists benefits of Nigeria’s proposed data protection laws

November 30, 2022
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The Minister of Economy and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said Nigeria’s proposed data protection laws will enable the country to secure ownership of its data and bring additional value to Nigeria’s ICT value chain.

Pantami disclosed this on Tuesday during the Cross Border Data Protection workshop organised by the American Business Council in conjunction with Microsoft.

Represented by Engineer Salisu Kakah, the Minister stressed the importance of data to Nigeria’s digital economy.

According to him, data drives and guides digital innovations.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, which was represented at the event, noted that the Data Protection Bill will enable data processors and data controllers to have significant clarification of duties.

“This makes it easy to administer the Data Protection Act and be implemented in a way that is targeted through self-regulation, which is also subject to laws and transparency,” the representative said.

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While commenting on the government’s regulation of the ICT sector, the Minister clarified that the Federal Government is not in the ICT space to strangle innovation. He cited recent regulations that support innovation, including the proposed Data Protection Bill.

“We come in to work with stakeholders and issue standards for easy implementation by ecosystem players. The FG has been working with the National data strategy, which is put in place to give Nigeria a sense of direction on how data can be used for innovation to enhance economic activity.

“Others include the National eCommerce policy, which helps Nigeria have access to an eCommerce policy which supports the utilisation of data for SMEs, lawfully, be it corporate or retail data in collaboration with stakeholders.”

Last Month, the National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr Vincent Olatunji, presented the draft of the National Data Protection Bill for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) following a series of stakeholder engagements in a National Policy Dialogue, marked the end of the 3-month process of seeking stakeholder input.

The minister assured the Commissioner and the Coordinator of the NDID4D that due diligence would be done on the bill to ensure its speedy passage by the National Assembly and eventual assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on ICT, Ibrahim Oseni said the bill “would be in addition to contributing to the legal foundations of the digital economy of Nigeria and its participation in the regional and global economies through the beneficial, trusted use of personal data”.

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