At a media conference in Abuja to commemorate the 2023 Global Data Privacy Week with the theme “Think Privacy First,” Professor Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, announced that the Data Protection Sector in Nigeria is currently worth $5.5 billion. As a result, he emphasized the importance of a data privacy law in Nigeria, which he hoped would inspire trust among foreign investors considering establishing operations in the country. At the moment, the Minister said, prospective investors, are increasingly inquiring as to whether or not Nigeria has a law on data protection.
As of 2022, the Data Protection Bureau has created a substantial amount of employment. He added that having a data protection law in place is a global best practice; it will be possible to attract so many beneficial interventions; even prospective investors will be anxious about the protection laws. As data has become increasingly important in the modern economy, a lack of a comprehensive data protection law could discourage investors from establishing a company in the country.
Investors want a country that has data protection laws.
Additionally, whenever they interact with investors and try to persuade them that they should come to Nigeria to invest and constantly inquire about the country’s data protection law. However, there is subsidiary law, and while several of them concur with subsidiary law, many others oppose that it is not satisfactory for them. As a result of this, he stated that the Ministry has proposed establishing a comprehensive data protection institution in Nigeria, in addition to principal legislation governing data protection relations.
Also, He added that the right to privacy is incorporated in the Nigerian constitution and is one of the country’s basic human rights. He asserted that the purpose of the data protection law is not to penalize the general public but instead to educate people so that everyone will be data compliant. People are strongly urged to comply with the law, and the adherence rate is increasing as a result of awareness campaigns, outreach to related institutions, sanctions, and interrogation of those in violation.
Various ministries and agencies have been trained in data protection.
Dr. Vincent Olatunji, the National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, stated that the purpose of the event week was to raise awareness and publicize privacy standards and procedures. He also pushed for a government-wide circular to be issued informing all employees of the importance of data protection. According to him, the Bureau has begun a trip to educate various ministries, agencies (MDAs) and departments on data security in order to ensure compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation and attract their support for the Bureau’s efforts.
He elaborated on the initiative being taken to establish a foundational data protection law for the nation. Their current mission is to raise public understanding. They have provided training at over 50 government agencies. He expressed gratitude to the Minister for all the work they did to set up NDPB and get the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to approve the Data Protection Bill. Olatunji urged Nigerians to recognize their obligations in order to establish a tradition of data privacy.
Global data privacy day is observed yearly internationally.
Furthermore, Global Data Privacy day is observed on January 28 every year, and Nigeria was the first nation in Africa to follow in the footsteps of developed nations in marking the occasion. The day widely recognized as “Data Privacy Day” is one that has been designated specifically for the purpose of raising awareness about the fundamental rights and liberties that are connected to the privacy of individuals within the context of the data processing environment.