The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) said that it has identified a wide gap in the country’s data protection needs.
According to the Bureau, Nigeria needs over 500,000 data processors and controllers but currently has about 10,000.
The National Commissioner of the NDPB, Dr Vincent Olatunji, who disclosed during a capacity-building workshop for data protection officers in the public sector, said the 490,000 jobs gaps have to be filled urgently.
Bridging the gap: To that end, he said the Bureau has designed a plan to train 250,000 data protection officers on enhanced management of data across organizations to safeguard the privacy of citizens.
While noting that the data privacy protection ecosystem is still emerging globally, Olatunji said:
- “In Nigeria, the number of data processors and controllers that we have identified are over 500,000 and by our estimates, those who are experts are not up to 10, 000, so there is a huge gap of over 490, 000 jobs available.”
He said this is why the Bureau has embarked on a series of training starting from government parastatals. Olatunji said through the training, the Bureau would build a pool of competent data protection experts in the country.
Olatunji added that there is a need for data protection officers operating in the public sector to understand the difference between data security and data privacy as they carry out their duties.
- “We have gone round ministries and parastatals, we have trained them. We have done this for the attorney general’s office, we have done this for NTA, we have done for VON, we have done for Federal Polytechnic Nekede, and we are working with the office of the secretary-general to conduct their own.
- “We are also working with the Federal Ministry of Health. We are pulling different people from ministries and departments and this is the first batch and I want to really congratulate all of them,” he added.
Need for training: On the training of more experts in the data protection field, the Head, of Legal Enforcement and Regulations, NDPB, Mr Babatunde Bamigboye, said that the training is part of its activities to commemorate this year’s Data Privacy Day, celebrated yearly on Jan. 28. Bamigboye said that the training which would be in series, is aimed at ensuring that the officers are placed at par with their counterparts in the western world.
- “We are starting with a batch of 100 and the idea is to have a pool of about 250,000 data protection officers in Nigeria who are globally competent.
- “We also want to ensure that they have the competence to practice data privacy or protection anywhere in the world. We have our partners from Meta that are helping us to achieve this,” he said.
On enforcement mechanisms to checkmate data breaches on data protection by any organisation, he said that the Bureau would continue to create awareness and build capacities of data protection officers in the country.
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