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The National Commissioner (NC) of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji,  has stressed the strategic importance of data to sustaining the digital economy.

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Olatunji, speaking recently during a working visit to the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Limited, said with the exponential rise in the processing of data online through satellite communications, appropriate mechanisms is needed to ensure adequate security and regulation of personal data processing in line with laid down legislations in Nigeria.

Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Dr. Abimbola Alale, agreed with Olatunji. She said  best practices that meet global standards in the protection of data must be adopted in satellite communications.

According to Olatunji, the redesignation of the supervisory ministry to include digital economy and with the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), it has become expedient to have relevant laws to guarantee protection of data.

His words: “The NDEPS is the roadmap for the digitization of the country and appropriate laws and regulations must be put in place to ensure protection of data in line with global standards bearing in mind local and international regulations to safeguard data of citizens.”

While commending the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, for the landmark stride in the creation of Nigeria Data Protection Regulations (NDPR), Olatunji disclosed that the industry is now worth over four billion naira with about 8000 people gainfully employed.

He added that the role of the bureau is to ensure that data  security for all Nigerians and to ensure that all organisations in Nigeria comply with the provisions of the NDPR.

“The bureau was established to ensure the implementation of the NDPR to safeguard the rights, freedom and privacy of citizens as well as ensure that the country has a principal legislation in that regard,” said the NDPB’s boss adding that the agency was not created to impose just sanctions for infringements of data protection.

“We are out to create awareness on data protection for all data processors and data controllers to adopt and see as a norm so that the global community will see us as being serious when it comes to issue of data privacy and protection.”

“It is highly important that those in charge of data processing in organizations are sound enough to know what to do, how to do and the kind of measures they need to put in place in terms of organizational and technical measures to ensure the safety of data of their subjects”, said Olatunji.

He urged NIGCOMSAT to comply with the provisions of the NDPR by annually filing their audit reports.

Dr. Alale in commended the National Commissioner and his team for their proactive initiatives in ensuring the security of data in the country while expressing her support to the data agency. She said NIGCOMSAT was already working on its data privacy audit report for the year.

“As we push forward the digital agenda of Nigeria, we should support one another and we at NIGCOMSAT pledge our support to you”, she added.

 

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