The Federal Government has issued a service-wide circular directing all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government to comply with the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
The circular, dated 7th November 2022, with Ref No. SGF/OP/l/S.3/Xll/186, was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, directed MDAs to designate appropriate officers as their data protection officers (DPOs) who will on regular basis advise management on data processing activities of their organisation and ensure compliance with the provisions of the NDPR and all matters relating to the protection of the privacy, rights and freedom of data subjects; Forward the name and contact details of the DPOs to Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) for documentation and requisite induction training; Appoint licensed data protection compliance organisations (DPCOs) who will guide the MDAs through compliance framework and file their annual reports with the NDPB; Make appropriate budgetary provision for annual data protection audit compliance process and capacity building of data protection officers as well as other staff; and file the report of their data protection audit to the NDPB not later than the 30th day of March of every year.
The implementation of the circular is with immediate effect.
The national commissioner, NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji lauded the Federal Government for taking the historic step towards advancing fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerian citizens and residents, particularly in the area of privacy. “As an agency of government,” he said “we are cheered by this development because it demonstrates the preparedness of public sector organisations and functionaries in providing an enabling environment for the growth of our digital economy. With this circular, over 200 million Nigerian citizens now have additional references to call in aid to protect lives and livelihoods in a data-driven ecosystem. The bureau will continue to cooperate with stakeholders so that the numerous benefits of lawful data processing such as job and wealth creation can spread to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
A statement by the NDPB head, legal enforcement and regulations, Barr. Babatunde Bamigboye, said MDAs may wish to make enquiries at the headquarters of NDPB at No. 5 Donau Crescent Maitama, Abuja or visit www.ndpb.gov.ng.