Data protection laws, key to attracting giant global investors- Pantami

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From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has said that data protection laws and institutions are necessary in today’s world to attract investors as many global giants will not do business in a country where they do not exist.

This is as the Minister called on the newly created Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) to ensure data protection in the country by coordinating all the existing laws that affect data protection, data privacy or data confidentiality.

Pantami who spoke at the official launch of NDPB Logo, Website and Core values, on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that data protection is a constitutional right founded in Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He further noted that the data protection should not only be centered within the public sectors but also cut across the private sectors.

He said, “Establishing a full fledged parastatal becomes necessary because there are many global giants that will not do business in a country where there are no data protection laws or institutions.

“Particularly, from the time the EU GDPR was approved and adopted by the European countries, it became necessary for all other countries to follow. We are very grateful at the time we came up with the Nigeria data protection law as a subsidiary legislation, which has also been at least enacted on the NITDA act 2007 section six. At that time, we were even the first in Africa to achieve that milestone.

“Most of the African countries that Senator mentioned, started their journey after our own and most of them even contacted Nigeria for guidance on the process and manner we achieved our data Nigeria data subsidiary law.


“The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau has been mandated by the government to ensure the coordination of all the existing laws in which data protection, data privacy or data confidentiality has been mentioned. We have so many laws in which data protection has been mentioned. In Nigeria, data protection is a constitutional right founded in Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The NIMC Act, 2007, under Section 26, there is a form of data protection in which nobody is allowed to get access to NIMC’s database without the approval of the commission.

“In NITDA Act 2007, Section 6 under article J and K, there is a form of data protection under article A to come up with the legislation in the first place.

“It is now in the process of being integrated into a full-fledged legislation by the National Assembly.

“Under the Nigerian Communications Commission Act 2003, there was no mention of data protection clearly.

“The commission came up with two subsidiary legislations, in which operators are not allowed to get access or release certain information without the consent of the data subject.

“National Health Act of 2014, there is a form of data protection and many more.”

Earlier, the National Commissioner, NDPB, Dr Vincent Olatunji, revealed that the mandate of data protection had a strategic roadmap that would provide the turning point in Nigeria’s data privacy.

Olatunji, further urged stakeholders to give the brand all the support it requires to achieve its mandate.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, Mr Adeleke Adewolu, in his goodwill message, congratulated NDPB and pledged support of the commission.