Data protection and privacy have become crucial aspects of global trade and Nigerians are encouraged to embrace them to generate jobs and wealth within the global ecosystem.
The national commissioner of the Nigerian Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji made this call during a one-day capacity-building for data protection and privacy for the Abuja chapter of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA).
Olatunji emphasised that data protection is being prioritised worldwide and Nigeria has also established a global data protection ecosystem.
He highlighted the need for data protection in disseminating information, stating that it is essential to safeguard our data from third parties.
“We have gathered here to share our knowledge on data protection and for you to recognize the potential in this field of protection,” Olatunji stated.
“In Nigeria, during our last summit, we had over 500,000 data controllers. The law requires each data controller to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who possesses in-depth knowledge of data protection practices. The DPO’s role is to assist organizations and provide them with advice on data protection measures.
“The DPO must implement appropriate measures during data collection to ensure data security. Each dataset must have a control data policy and process. It is important to be fully aware of what you are doing,” he added.
The NDPB is the sector that holds the potential to create jobs and generate wealth for the country.
“We have over 489,000 job opportunities waiting for us. The people have the skills required to fill these positions. The global standard is having a comprehensive understanding of the field. If you possess the necessary expertise, you can work anywhere,” Olatunji said.
“The Federal Government’s agenda is to create 2 million jobs within 24 months. Considering that the data ecosystem offers approximately 490,000 jobs, the impact of data protection becomes evident,” he explained.
Olatunji revealed that the NDPB aims to establish a certification mechanism, with a target of training 50,000 Nigerians annually. Within two years, they have already managed to create over 9,000 jobs.
“This ecosystem has the potential to generate employment. DPOs are required to collaborate with us in case of any incidents. They are mandated to report to us within 72 hours,” he emphasized.
He urged journalists to actively engage in data protection and take it seriously.
The lead for strategy partnership and communication at the NDPB, Leena Abba emphasised that data privacy ensures the autonomy of personal information and focuses on establishing legal control.
“The data controller determines how data should be handled. Information security ensures confidentiality, integrity and availability,” she explained.
Highlighting the reasons to protect personal data, Abba stressed the importance of privacy and safeguarding against third parties.
Abba advised individuals to actively safeguard and protect their privacy.
Another representative from the NDPB, a lawyer, Babatunde Bamigboye discussed what he called “the PARAMETERS law”, which includes principles, accountability, audit, management, ethics, technical and organisational measures, education, remediation and sovereignty. These elements serve as guidelines for establishing a robust data protection system.
The role of a DPO involves conducting training, interpreting regulations, and creating awareness.
“As a reporter, when you gather data, it may be for public interest. The primary purpose of collecting data is to provide information to the people who need it,” Bamigboye concluded.