The data protection industry in Nigeria has contributed N5.5 billion to the country’s GDP, making Nigeria the leading country in data protection in Africa.
The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) aims to increase the global competitiveness of businesses in the country and has generated a combined earning of N5.5 billion in the sector.
The National Data Protection Bill, once signed into law, has the potential to generate over 500,000 jobs in data protection and will establish the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) to ensure enhanced personal data protection and promote awareness of data protection obligations.
The National Commissioner ofthe Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Mr. Vincent Olatunji, has said that the data protection industry has so far contributed N5.5 billion to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to a statement the bureau’s Head of the Media Unit, Itunu Dosekun, Olatunji, disclosed this at the Nigeria-Netherlands Economic Consultation in Abuja. The Commissioner noted that Nigeria has now become the leading country in data protection across Africa.
“The EU countries have gone ahead with Data Protection but Nigeria gained the lead in Africa with more than 200 million people, and we have put in place appropriate structures to create confidence in whatever you are doing with us.
“One of the objectives of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) is to increase the global competitiveness of businesses in the country.We have a combined earning of N5.5 billion in the sector, which has contributed to our GDP,” he said.
Olatunji assured that the personal data of the Dutch citizens in Nigeria was safe, with regards to the establishment of the NDPR. He, however, requested for partnership in the area of reviewing and implementing data protection regulations and laws between both countries.
“The Bureau is always ready to work with its partners in the area of awareness, capacity building, and spreading the gospel of data protection, saying it is the key, the bedrock of the global digital economy,”Olatunji added.
Potential 500,000 jobs
Meanwhile, Olatunji noted that data protection’s contribution to the GDP is bound to jump once the National Data Protection Bill recently passed by the National Assembly is signed into law by the President. According to him, data protection has the potential of generating over 500,000 jobs.
While noting that as the fifth most populated nation in the world is generating huge Data that needed to be protected from compromise, Olatunji said there are at least 500,000 data-generating bodies in Nigeria and each of them required Data Protection officers to guide against breaches as enshrined in the Data Protection bill.
Dr. Olatunji said there was also a huge career potential in data protection as the data generated daily throughout the globe needed to be policed based on domestic and foreign legal parameters.
Data Protection Commission coming
While data protection is currently being handled by the NDPB, which was created out of NITDA, the bill provides for the establishment of a substantive body, the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC).
Section 7 of the bill lists the functions of the Commission to include ensuring the deployment of technological and organisational measures to enhance personal data protection; promoting awareness of data controllers and data processors of their obligations under the Act; promoting public awareness and understanding of personal data protection and the risks to personal data, including the rights granted and obligations imposed under the Act; and fostering the development of personal data protection technologies in accordance with recognized international good practices and applicable international law.
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