The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has rated the financial sector highest in compliance to the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in 2019, which is presently being enforced by the government.
In a address delivered by its Director General, Mal. Kashifu Inuwa, during the National Privacy Week 2022 Press Conference and unveiling of the week’s activities, NITDA rated Finance sector 41 percent, Consultancy 9.2 percent, ICT and Digital Media 8.8 percent and Manufacturing 7.9 percent in the 1,230 audit compliance recorded in 2021.
“Financial sector leads in the NDPR compliance, where we have from zero data privacy audit compliance in 2018 to 635 in 2020 and over 1,230 audit compliance in 2021,” he said.
NITDA attributes the growth in compliance to the growing level of awareness it has carried out, where more and more organisations and citizens are becoming conscious of the power of data and the need to regulate data processing in the interest of both individual and national security.
He also argued that before the advent of NDPR, organisations had no functional accountability system for data privacy, but NDPR created a functional accountability system for data privacy so far.
Mal. Inuwa also disclosed that in less than two years of active implementation of NDPR, Nigeria has been admitted to the Common Thread Network (a Network of Data Protection Authorities of Commonwealth countries).
The country also got accepted as full member of the Network of African Data Protection Authorities (NADPA), even as the country’s contribution at the Africa Union’s Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA) Data Protection Laws’ Harmonisation Work Group led to Nigeria being considered for inclusion in the list of countries where a developed framework for data laws harmonisation was tested.
Speaking on leveraging the success so far, Mal. Inuwa stated that NITDA is taking a continuum of measures towards strengthening Data Privacy.
According to him, the first measure was to licence Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs), who are mandated to, inter alia, carry out Data Protection Regulations Compliance and Breach Services for Data Controllers and Data Administrators; Training and Awareness Services; Privacy Breach Remediation Planning and Support.
“It is encouraging to note that we now have 103 DPCOs and we have created approximately 7,680 jobs for Nigerians in this regard. At the same time, the sum of N4,080,000,000 has been reported as the estimated value of Data Protection Industry. Part of our vigilance measures is to monitor DPCOs and data controllers closely. We have developed an auditing template and will be issuing codes of conduct from time to time. This is to ensure that the services being rendered by DPCOs are in tune with the letters and the spirit of the NDPR,” he said.