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Data Privacy Day: Nigeria’s Data Protection Sector Valued At 5.5billion

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami says the market value of Nigeria’s Data Protection Sector in the country is now valued at 5.5 billion. In view of this, Professor Pantami stressed the need for a data protection law in the country which will in turn give foreign investors the confidence to do business in Nigeria. Professor Pantami disclosed this in a Press Conference to mark the commencement of the 2023 Global Data Privacy Week in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital The Minister noted that potential investors today ask if Nigeria has a Data Protection law before they can invest in the country. “As of today, the Data Protection Bureau has created many jobs by 2022. The value of it today is around 5.5 billion naira in Nigeria” “ it is a global best practice to have a data protection law in place, otherwise you will find it difficult to attract so many interventions that are of benefit to your country, secondly, even potential investors today may ask questions whether you have data protection laws in your country or not. “If you don’t have any data protection law in place they will feel uncomfortable coming to your country and investing because today, data is critical, “The Minister said He further said that “Whenever we engage with potential investors, we try to convince them of the need of coming to Nigeria to invest, and they always ask if we have data protection law, but we have subsidiary law, and many of them do agree with subsidiary law and at the same time, many disagree that subsidiary law is sufficient for them, but in Nigeria it is sufficient”, Pantami stated. For this reason, He said that the Ministry came up with the proposal of having a fully-fledged data protection institution and also principal legislation of data protection relations in Nigeria. Professor Pantami explained that privacy in Nigeria is not only in the enabling law, but rather it is the constitutional right of the citizens and It is part of the fundamental human rights in Nigeria. “The law about data protection is not in any way to punish our citizens, but rather to create awareness so that we will all be data compliant, that is why it is important, we are urged to comply, and today because of awareness creation, reaching out to other institutions, sanctions and interrogating others, you will discover that the compliance rate is going higher,” he added. In his remarks, the National Commissioner of Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, Dr. Vincent Olatunji said the aim of the privacy week was to sensitise people and disseminate privacy practices and principles across society. Mr. Olatunji also appealed for the institutionalisation of data protection in the public sector through the issuance of a service-wide circular to all. According to Dr.Olatunji, “the Bureau has embarked on a sensitisation tour to different, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for compliance with the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation and also to keep them abreast of what the Bureau is doing, as enshrined by the law in data protection, and to also get their buy-in.” He said; “We are taking the lead to ensure that we have a principal law for data protection in the country. What we are doing now is to create awareness. We have visited and trained over 50 public sector organisations . He commended the Minister for the effort he made to ensure that NDPB was established and also for his efforts in ensuring the approval of the Data Protection Bill by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Olatunji encouraged Nigerians to own up to their responsibilities in order to bring about a culture of data privacy. The Global Data Privacy Day 2023 has as its a theme: “Think Privacy First”. The day is marked every January 28 and Nigeria is the first African country to join the developed countries in celebrating the day. Data Privacy Day is a day that has been set aside to create awareness of fundamental rights and freedoms relating to the privacy of citizens in the data processing ecosystem.