DG of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi
DG of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi

NDPR: N4 Billion Data Protection Industry Contributes 7,680 jobs – NITDA

TECHDIGEST – The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has said the estimated value of the Data Protection Industry stands at N4.08 billion, even as the sector created 7,680 jobs in 2021.

NITDA while commending Lagos State University for developing data privacy into a full-fledged course for students, he said other academic institutions are also putting in place various mechanisms to entrench Data Protection in their curricula.

Addressing journalists ahead of National Privacy Week 2022, the Director-General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, said 5,746 Nigerians have been trained on the National Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), while 103 Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs) were licensed.

“It is encouraging to note that we now have 103 DPCOs and we have created approximately 7,680 jobs for Nigerians in this regard. At the same time, the sum of N4, 080,000,000 has been reported as the estimated value of the Data Protection Industry. Part of our vigilance measures is to monitor DPCOs and data controllers closely,” he said.

“In 2021, we carried out training programmes on NDPR in 52 secondary schools across Nigeria. The various capacity building initiatives culminated in the training of a total number of about 5,746 Nigerian.

“We are particularly excited by the fact that Lagos State University has developed data privacy into a full-fledged course for students while other academic institutions are also putting in place various mechanisms to entrench Data Protection in their curricula.

Speaking on the impact of NDPR, Inuwa said “NDPR has made a landmark impact on data privacy in Nigeria. Significantly, NDPR has broadened citizens’ right to privacy as enshrined in Section 37, Part 4, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He said NDPR is a technical concept that encompasses the safeguards for the dignity of the human person, the safety of lives and livelihoods and the socio-economic integrity of a sovereign state in the frontiers of digital civilisation.

“Courts of competent jurisdiction have taken judicial notice of this phenomenal impact. A classic example is the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Incorporated Trustees of Digital Lawyers Initiative & Ors. V. National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) CA/ IB/291/2020.

“We must note that the administration of justice regarding data privacy is a critical index in assessing the adequacy level of a country; with this landmark decision, Nigeria has earned herself a pride of place in the frontiers of fundamental rights.

“Furthermore, before the advent of NDPR, organisations had no functional accountability system for data privacy. NDPR created a functional accountability system for data privacy”, NITDA DG noted.

He said the government has commenced the process of having a national certification body on NDPR in order to build the requisite indigenous capability for driving the sector and also save Nigerians the huge amount of foreign exchange being paid for foreign certifications.

“Furthermore, NITDA is collaborating with relevant agencies of government in strengthening compliance. Data privacy issues can make or mar democracies or literally undermine national security with far-reaching dire consequences to a country and its people.

“For instance, according to some investigative reports by some international news agencies such as CNN, Reuters, BBC and Guardian (UK), Twitter and Facebook deleted some social media accounts operating in Nigeria and Ghana because they were linked to some foreigners who were using the said accounts to manipulate the public.

“NDPR prohibits this manner of atrocious intrusion and manipulation of personal data. By collaborating as vanguards of Nigerian sovereignty, government agencies are sending signals to the big data community that it is not going to be business as usual,” he added.

“As the government implement National Digital Economy Policy, we cannot afford to have weak links in our digital national security architecture. We must, therefore, continue to strengthen inter-agency collaboration on data privacy in the interest of peace, security and economic growth,” he stated.

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