The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled plans to develop a home-grown solution for the effective implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA).
Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), shared this information in Abuja ahead of the upcoming 2024 Data Privacy Week.
The NDPC commissioner emphasised that the government is considering indigenous solutions as part of its strategies for implementing the legal framework.
“We are looking at what kind of technology that we can deploy in terms of implementation of the mandate, enforcement, investigation, reporting, or any other thing that will come up. It is like creating a formidable ecosystem, and we want to have indigenous solutions that can address some of these areas,’’ he explained.
He revealed that a hackathon, focused on the potential use of indigenous solutions in implementing the Act, is part of the activities planned for the 2024 Data Privacy Week.
Olatunji highlighted that the winners of the hackathon and organisations excelling in data protection and regulatory compliance would be recognised and awarded.
In June 2023, President Bola Tinubu signed the Nigeria Data Protection Bill into law, establishing a legal framework for safeguarding personal information and regulating data protection practices in Nigeria.
Olatunji outlined that the 2024 Data Privacy Week would be filled with activities to raise awareness, evaluate performances, and devise new strategies for the future.
The Commissioner also disclosed NDPC’s collaboration with the Nigeria Association of Computing Students (NACOS) to enhance awareness about data privacy protection.
“We are widening the scope this year, and we are encouraging stakeholders to go to schools to preach the gospel of data privacy. When we started, we engaged with six schools; then, it increased to 16 and also to 33 schools. Last year, we reached out to over 60 schools. This year, we are working with NACOS to ensure that we do this in all universities in Nigeria to expand the scope,’’ he stated.
While Data Privacy Day is globally observed on January 28, in Nigeria, it is commemorated as a week-long event from January 28 to February 4. This period marks the establishment anniversary of NDPC, founded on January 4, 2022. The annual campaign seeks to educate the public on the significance of online privacy and encourages citizens to be more mindful of safeguarding their personal data.