The Federal Government on Thursday says it is committed to the protection of digital platforms to build the confidence of the citizens while online.
Dr Bosun Tijani,Minister of Communications,Innovation and Digital Economy made the commitment at a 2-day sensitisation workshop on Data Privacy and Protection in Abuja.
The workshop,organised by the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), targeted to sensitise the public on the requirements of the Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA).
Tijani said that builing a structure around regulation of data privacy and protection was important to the journey of the nation towards digitalisation.
“Data privacy is not just a matter of convenience,it is a fundamental human right and we should care about the data we generate and what it is being used for.
“As we embrace the digital age, it is crucial that personal and sensitive information of our citizens is maintained under the eyes of confidentiality.
“We are committed as a government to ensuring that every Nigerian can trust the digital platforms that he uses,knowing that his personal data will not be misused.
“We are taking proactive steps to strengthen our data protection framework as evident in setting up of NDPC.
“We are working with stakeholders including the National Assembly to enact robust data protection laws that are aligned with international standards,” he said.
Tijani said.that data privacy and protection involved holding organisations accountable on how they collect and process data.
He said:*We will also normalise the culture of transparency among our citizens so that everyone is fully aware of how his data is used.”
Tijani said that the government will collaborate with all the stakeholders to ensure that Nigerians were aware of their rights and how they can protect their digital identity.
He further said that data protection was not the sole responsibility of government, adding, “every individual should ensure people understand the value of their data and how they can protect themselves.”
Tijani admonished Data Protection Officers (DPOs), Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to ensure data privacy and protection.
“We must be responsible for this as we are the faces citizens interact with, it is important that we model what we want to see in the society.
“The digital economy is an era of growth and innovation that requires that we nurture it,” he said.
The minister further said that President Bola Tinubu believed in the power of digital economy,hence the need to prioritise the implementation of stronger data security and protection.
The minister emphasised that data privacy and protection conversation should go beyond technicalities,adding that they should become values upheld strongly.
“As a minister,am personally committed to this and I ask that you all join us to work towards the Nigeria where everyones data is protected and secured,” Tijani said.
The National Commissioner of NDPC,Dr Vincent Olatunji, said the commission was engaging on rigorous sensitisation on the NDPA, capacity building of DPOs and Nigerians.
Olatunji decried that the country requires over 500,000 certified DPOs because the skill is lacking.
“We have the people but the skill is lacking, there is need for us to reskill and retool.
“Another thing is the technology that will be used to drive data protection, we need indigenous solutions that can assist build data protection ecosystem,” he said.
Olatunji said that there were so many vulnerable Nigerians who disclose and misuse their data ignorant of the risks.
“In Nigeria, we have over 60 million Nigerians involved in gaming out of over 200 million people and most of these people don’t care about their data,they are vulnerable groups.
“We are working with the regulator of that sector, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission to ensure they see and understand data Protection as a major thing,” he said.
Olatunji added that the commission was working on a Memorandum of Understanding that would guide activities in the sector,among other engagements.
Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA),said that data was the currency of digital economy.
Inuwa explained that new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence were sourcing for data to give people personalised experience,hence the need to beware of vital information available in the public domain.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 200 people participated at the workshop consisting of DPOs and MDAs, among others.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria