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Adopt Data Privacy, NDPB Boss Urges NIPOST

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L-R: The Postmaster General, Nigerian Postal Service, Dr. Adebayo Adewusi presenting the agency’s publication to the national commissioner, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, when the latter paid him a courtesy visit at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

The national commissioner (NC) of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, has urged the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to adopt data privacy and protection to ensure full protection, privacy and confidentiality of all citizenry data under their purview.

Olatunji made this call when he paid a courtesy call on the Postmaster General of NIPOST, Dr. Adebayo Adewusi at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

Speaking on the importance of data privacy and protection in a digital economy, Olatunji stated that the digitisation of existing traditional processes which also affect individuals from birth to their deaths should be given uttermost attention and priority considering its value.

“Now we are talking about digitising all processes right from the birth of individuals to their death, which has laid credence to the fact that we have to adequately protect the kind of information and data we upload on the internet,” he noted.

According to the bureau’s CEO, data subjects need to know how their data is been handled, processed and protected by data processors in a global digital economy worth over $11.5trillion.

The data security officer of the country expressed the importance of data privacy and protection as a necessary element in the drive for a digital economy while emphatically stating that countries will not do business with other countries that have no privacy laws.

He then urged NIPOST which is a major data processor and controller considering the volume of data they process daily to develop a robust privacy policy, organizational measures, technological measures and staff capacity-building in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations (NDPR).

“On your website, you need to emphasise your privacy policy which must be simple, effective and displayed. We will also be building the capacities of your regional officers on data protection procedures since they are the front liners who have direct interaction with people and their data,” he added.

While highlighting the need for NIPOST to engage a Data Protection Compliance Organization (DPCO) to put them through NDPR compliance measures, Olatunji said DPCOs have been instrumental in the traction gained in the implementation of the NDPR which has also helped in the growth of the nation’s economy.

“We have licensed 103 DPCOs and an average DPCO employs no less than 10 people, depending on their capacity and the number of clients they are dealing with. This has helped in job creation in the country with a total of over 8000 jobs created in the ecosystem,” he disclosed.

Emphasising further, the NC mentioned that DPCOs will take NIPOST through the compliance process on an annual basis and file their audit report with the bureau which will be published subsequently on the bureau’s website.

The published report, according to Olatunji, will bear witness that NIPOST has complied fully, taken the issue of data privacy seriously and demonstrate synergy amongst the agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

He then advised the management of NIPOST to ensure that all courier and logistics companies under them comply with data privacy to earn the trust of Nigerians.

“We are developing tool kits for different sectors in the country based on their peculiarities and will work with you to ensure that the provisions of the NDPR are not only complied with but seen as a culture,” Olatunji added.

In his response, Adewusi commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami for recommending the appointment of Olatunji as the pioneer national commissioner of the bureau.

“Truth be told, Dr. Olatunji is a highly professional and cerebral technocrat who has adequately discharged all the assignments he has been entrusted to handle over the years and is a perfect description of a round peg in a round hole,” he asserted.

The PMG then applauded the bureau for its unflinching and consistent efforts thus far in ensuring the protection of data in the country.

He disclosed that the corporation has been educating and sensitizing people on the role of posts in a digital economy considering the critical role they play in the movement of people’s goods, parcels, mail and financial services across the globe.

Adewusi said that NIPOST is at the centre of dealing with people’s information and has a serious responsibility to protect people’s data within its domain and promised to work closely with the bureau in achieving this.

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