By law, all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government are to comply with the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) following a service-wide circular issued by the Federal Government.

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Issued 7th November, 2022 with Ref No. SGF/OP/l/S.3/Xll/186, the circular which was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, is to the effect that MDAs should:

  1. designate appropriate officers as their Data Protection Officers (DPOs) who will  on regular basis advise management on data processing  activities of their  organization and ensure compliance with the provisions of the NDPR and all  matters relating to protection of the privacy, rights and freedom of data subjects;
  2. forward the name and contact details of the DPOs to Nigeria Data  Protection Bureau (NDPB) for documentation and requisite induction training;
  3. appoint licensed Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs) who will  guide the MDAs through compliance framework and file their annual reports with the NDPB;
  4. make appropriate budgetary provision for annual Data Protection Audit compliance process and capacity building of Data Protection Officers as well as other staff; and
  5. on annual basis, file the report of their Data Protection Audit to the NDPB not later than the 30th day of March of every year.

The implementation of the circular is with immediate effect and any MDA which fails to comply risks hefty sanction including suspension of its chief executive, those familiar with matter told IT Edge News in Abuja.

The NDPR is the main data protection regulation in Nigeria and was issued in 2019.

The National Commissioner and CEO,  Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, lauds government for taking this historic step towards advancing fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerian citizens and residents particularly in the area of privacy.

“As an agency of government, we are cheered by this development because it clearly demonstrates the preparedness of public sector organizations and functionaries in providing an enabling environment for the growth of our digital economy. With this circular, over 200 million Nigerian citizens now have additional reference to call in aid in order to protect lives and livelihoods in a data driven ecosystem,” said Olatunji.

Adding: “The Bureau will continue to cooperate with stakeholders so that the numerous benefits of lawful data processing such as job and wealth creation can spread to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

According to NDPB’s Head, Legal Enforcement and Regulations, Babatunde Bamigboye, “MDAs may wish to make enquiries at the headquarters of NDPB at No. 5 Donau Crescent Maitama, Abuja or visit www.ndpb.gov.ng.”

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