The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill. Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo presided at the FEC meeting. The FEC is the cabinet of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and is part of the executive branch of the government, the country’s highest decision making body.

With this historic approval, the bill will now be transmitted to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill through the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

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President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) 4th of February 2022 with the mandate to implement the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and to coordinate the passage of an enabling Act for data protection, among other objectives.

According to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who submitted the bill to the Federal Executive Council, the central objective of the bill is to safeguard the fundamental rights, freedoms, and interests of data subjects, as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, by —

  • providing for the regulation of processing of personal data;
  • promoting data processing practices that safeguard the security of personal data and privacy of data subjects;
  • ensuring that personal data is processed in a fair, lawful and accountable manner;
  • protecting data subjects’ rights, and providing means of recourse and remedies, in the event of the breach of the data subject’s rights;
  • ensuring that data controllers and data processors fulfil their obligations to data subjects;
  • establishing an impartial, independent, and effective regulatory Commission to superintend over data protection and privacy issues, and supervise data controllers and data processors; and
  • strengthen the legal foundations of the national digital economy and guarantee the participation of Nigeria in the regional and global economies through the beneficial trusted use of personal data

The National Commissioner and CEO, NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji who accompanied Prof Pantami to the FEC calls on all stakeholders to cooperate with the Federal Government in ensuring the sustainability of the abundant opportunities in Nigeria’s digital economy.

“With the full support demonstrated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, a clear signal has been sent to the global data processing ecosystem that Nigeria is committed to safeguarding fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerian citizens which may be impacted one way or the other by the activities of data controllers and data processors,” said Olatunji in an official release signed by Head, Legal, Enforcement & Regulations, NDPB,  Babatunde Bamigboye.

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