Why Nigerians need to leverage on data protection ecosystem – NDPB
The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) says Nigerians need to leverage opportunities that abound in the data protection ecosystem. The National Commissioner of NDPB, Dr Vincent Olatunji said this at the one-day capacity building on Data Protection and Privacy for members of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) on Sunday in Abuja. The training was part of the bureaus stakeholders engagement to create awareness and ensure that they understood data protection. Olatunji said there was a huge gap that existed in the data protection ecosystem that had the capacity to provide wealth and millions of jobs for Nigerians and promote the digital economy. Across the globe, people are losing jobs, while others are gaining jobs in the digital economy sector. To be part of people gaining jobs, we need to re-skill, and learn digital skills because technology is changing, a new world is emerging with the Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D Printing and more. In Nigeria, we have about 500,000 data controllers and processors, and according to law, each of these data controllers are meant to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) that ensures data protection compliance by the controller. In Nigeria presently, we are barely 10,000 certified DPOs and that number does not commensurate with the number of data controllers in the country, he said. Olatunji said that the gap was huge, adding that Nigerians could develop themselves with skills to qualify as Data Protection Officers. According to him, the data protection sector is an open field that anyone can venture into as long as they can read and write. He said: In the past two years, the data protection ecosystem has created over 9,000 jobs, it is an ecosystem that can create direct and many indirect jobs. Olatunji added that in ensuring the compliance level of data controllers, there had been positive results. He added that from the time of its establishment, the bureau had interrogated seven major organisations, fined them and ensured they followed the steps of data protection compliance. Mrs Leena Abba, Lead, Strategy, Partnerships and Communications of NDPB, explained that Data Privacy means information autonomy. Abba said data protection was important to reduce incidences of crime, ensure personal security, and enhance customer retention in terms of business engagement, among many reasons. Mr Bamigboye Babatunde, Lead, Legal, Enforcement and Regulations gave the `PARAMETERS for data protection and privacy as: Principles, Accountability, Rights, Auditing, Management of Records, Ethics, Technicality and organisation, Education, Remediation and Sovereignty. Oluchi Okorafor and Nanqwat Dariem, some participants at the training said the capacity building had helped them to understand the data protection sector and how to report it better.