The Nigerian Data Protection Commission (NDPC) is actively delving into 17 significant cases of data breaches and violations, as revealed by the National Commissioner, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, during the Global Data Privacy Day event in Abuja, Nigeria. This event marks the commencement of the third National Data Privacy Week, themed “Take Control of Your Data.”
Dr. Olatunji disclosed that the ongoing investigation spans various sectors, including financial institutions (banks), technology, education, consulting, lottery and gaming services, and logistics services.
“In the area of complaints and investigations, we have received over 1000 complaints and after thorough review, 50 have been verified and investigations are currently ongoing on 17 major cases covering several sectors such as finance, technology, education, consulting, government, Logistics and gaming, among others,” he stated.
Highlighting the impact of remedial actions, Dr. Olatunji mentioned that NDPC has generated over 400 million naira in revenue for the government through completed cases.
To reinforce compliance, he emphasised, “We have increased the number of Data Protection Compliance Organisations from 103 to 163. As a result of this, annual audit filings have increased to over 2000 per annum while the cumulative revenue in the sector is estimated at 6.2 Billion and approximately 10,100 jobs have been created so far.“
The National Commissioner underscored the government’s commitment to addressing any infractions against individuals and corporate entities, ensuring the integrity of the data industry in Nigeria, and complying with sector regulations.
He issued a stern warning for the future: No organisation in the public and the private sector will be allowed to treat Nigerians as second-class citizens when it comes to respect for the data privacy of citizens. Those who choose the crime must do the time.”
Addressing the 4th Estate of the realm, he stressed, “As members of the 4th Estate of the realm, the nobility of your profession depends on an ecosystem that respects the rights of citizens.
“It is, thus, in our collective interest to work together to secure Nigeria’s present and future in the frontiers of the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
Dr. Olatunji shared that Nigeria has over 220 million data subjects and emphasised the need to regulate the data value chain to prevent abusive exploitation and protect privacy.
In a goodwill message, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, highlighted the knowledge gap on data privacy in Nigeria, emphasising the joint responsibility of the public, private sector, and industry players to protect individual data through awareness campaigns.
He affirmed the government’s top priority of ensuring the safety and security of citizens’ data for integrity and transparency.
Hon. Stanley Olajide, House Committee Chairman on ICT and Cybersecurity, revealed President Bola Tinubu’s mandate to automate public service in the country, including services at the national assembly. He pledged legislative support to the NDPC for enforcing compliance, creating awareness, and enhancing the Commission’s effectiveness.