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Nigeria cashes on data dividends

There are very common clichés today which sell the narrative that every other thing that gives wealth may soon give way to data. They include, “data is king”, “data is the new oil”, and “data is the new wealth”. The connecting point in all these clichés, is that data monetization is capable of creating enormous wealth that can sustain the economy. Most evidently, the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, NDPB, is cashing in on data wealth. The bureau said that it has generated a total of 94 million in one year. This is also as the cumulative revenue of the sector is estimated at N5.5 billion. The National Commissioner and CEO of NDPB, Dr Vincent Olatunji, made the disclosure on Monday, while addressing the media on the necessary institutional measures the sector has taken to lay the foundation for a sustainable digital economy in Lagos. He said: “NDPB has generated N94 million as a bureau within one year and as for the total worth of the sector, the cumulative revenue of the sector is estimated at N5.5 billion. And over 9, 500 jobs have been created so far. “Similarly the rate of NDPR Compliance Audit Returns filing increased from 1229 in 2021 to 1,777 in 2022.” He noted that the sector was able to achieve the feat because it did full automation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, NDPR, Compliance Audit Returns Filing, NDPR Complaint Process Data Protection Compliance Organizations, DPCOs, Registration and Licensing National Data Protection Adequacy Programme. According to him, “This has been designed to create a gradual pathway for organizations in implementing adequate technical and organizational measures of data privacy protection. “Outcome – 400 percent increase in the enrolment of Data Protection Officers, DPOs, from data controllers and processors across Nigeria. “Licensing of Additional 48 Data Protection Compliance Organizations, DPCOs. With this number, we now have 138 DPCOs. This has boosted wealth and job creation in the ecosystem.” NDPB Boss also disclosed that over 100 data controllers and data processors are under investigation by the sector. He said: “We are investigating over 110 data controllers and data processors for various degrees of data privacy and protection breaches. “The most worrisome are those in the financial and the telecom sectors, four banks, online lending companies; one Telecom Company and one gaming company are being investigated. “The vulnerabilities in these sectors are high partly due to the capabilities of intrusive mobile apps. “When you factor in lack of due diligence on the part of data controllers in engaging data processors or vendors who have access to personal data of customers, what you see in some cases is a pattern of abuses in violation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, NDPR, and section 37 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “The position of government is that those who deal with data have nothing to fear but the consequences of their acts and omissions which may constitute a civil or a criminal liability. “We are particularly glad that the Nigeria Police Force are currently working with us in this regard,” Olatunji stated.