Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner/CEO of NDPB

Nigeria Data Protection Bureau to accelerate privacy legislation, consumer awareness ─Minister

*The Federal Government says the newly-established Nigeria Data Protection Bureau NDPB aims to accelerate consumer awareness while consolidating the gains of NDPR for the development of data protection and privacy legislation in the ecosystem

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has stated it established the new Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) in line with global best practice to focus on data protection and privacy for the West African country.

ConsumerConnect reports President Muhammadu Buhari, subsequently, has approved the appointment of Dr. Vincent Olatunji, as the pioneer National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NDPB.

Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, Spokesperson to Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, who disclosed this development in a statement issued Friday, February 4, 2022, in Abuja, FCT, said President Buhari’s approval of Dr. Olatunji’s appointment was sequel to an earlier request the Minister made to the Presidency.

The Ministry’s statement also noted the new Nigeria Data Protection Bureau was established in line with global best practice, and would focus on data protection and privacy, among others for the country.

“The successful implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria has significantly increased the adoption of data platforms and accelerated the datafication of our society.

“This has increased the importance of having an institution that focuses on data protection and privacy,’’ Mrs. Suleiman said.

The Spokesperson further said that the issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), a subsidiary legislation to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act 2007, increased awareness about the need for data protection and privacy.

The government said that the newly-established NDPB would be responsible for consolidating the gains of NDPR, and supporting the process for the development of a primary legislation for data protection and privacy.

Specifically, the Federal Government noted that the NDPR was established to regulate those who have access to and control consumers’ data in the .

Prior to the establishment of NDPR, there existed provisions in a few laws which protected certain information or data from unlawful use.

However, unlike the NDPR, these provisions were ambiguous, inadequate, and ineffective in imposing sanctions and ensuring compliance in the event of a data breach.

Data as main fuel of digital economies

ConsumerConnect reports the Centre for the Governance of Change in a recent research work titled, ‘Data, Privacy & The Individual’, opined that “data is the main fuel of our digital economies.”

According to the organisation, consumers’ financial transactions, movements, communications, relationships and interactions with governments and businesses, both online and off, generate data that is collected, bought and sold by data brokers and corporations interested in profiling individuals.


The report stated: “As the collection and analysis of data becomes more sophisticated and accurate, and as data sets grow to become Big Data, the opportunities ahead seem infinite. “The risks, however, are also great, as the information being handled about individuals is extremely sensitive.”

The Centre also said getting privacy right is one of the biggest challenges of this new decade of the 21st Century.

The past years, it further noted, have shown that there is still much work to be done on privacy to tame the darkest aspects of the data economy across the world.

The Centre added: “As data scandals continue to emerge, questions abound as to how to interpret and enforce regulation, how to design new and better laws, how to complement regulation with better ethics, and how to find technical solutions to data problems.”

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